Manchester United are expecting a fresh bid for Chris Smalling from AS Roma, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
The 30-year-old enjoyed a fantastic season in the Italian capital and became a fan favourite at the club. Despite being a loan player he was even given the captain’s armband by teammate Edin Dzeko on one occasion.
Roma were desperate to make the deal permanent in time for the Europa League knockout stages but was unable to offer more than €13 million (£12m), with United unwilling to accept less than €20 million (£18m) plus bonuses.
After the talks broke down, Smalling returned to Old Trafford but made it clear it was against his wishes. His Twitter account still describes him as ‘AS Roma and England footballer’ and his profile and cover photos show him with his Roma shirt and holding a Roma scarf, respectively.
Given Romano’s accuracy when it comes to transfer news, the player may now finally be able to get his wish.
‘Manchester United expect to receive a new bid soon from AS Roma to sell Chris Smalling on a permanent deal.
‘Man Utd board are also working to sign a new CB if a ‘good opportunity’ will be on the market on next weeks,’ the journalist Tweeted late last night.
Manchester United expect to receive a new bid soon from AS Roma to sell Chris Smalling on a permanent deal. Man Utd board are also working to sign a new CB if a ‘good opportunity’ will be on the market on next weeks. #MUFC #ManUtd
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 1, 2020
It seems likely now that a deal will be reached. The Serie A side was taken over by American billionaire Dan Friedkin last month, putting them on a firmer financial footing.
Roma’s imment sale of forward Patrik Schick to Bayer Leverkusen for a reported €27 million will further ease the transition.
In terms of what the bid might be, Gazzetta dello Sport last week claimed the Serie A giants had proposed another season-long loan worth €3 million with compulsory purchase at the end of the year of €14 million, raising the total amount bid to €17 million (£15m). So while they may have jumped the gun, that could be the bid that is about to be submitted.
With United being heavily linked with a move for Red Bull Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano this week and Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo looking likely to move on, everything would appear to be in place for a major defensive overhaul at Old Trafford this summer.
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