Manchester United central defender Chris Smalling could be close to joining AS Roma permanently after his loan spell with the club expires at the end of the 2019/20 season. Italian news source Corriere dello Sport, translated by SportWitness think that a deal could be close with both teams working to agree a deal for the 30-year-old.
Before the coronavirus pandemic arrived and world football was suspended, Smalling has made a total of 28 appearances for the Italian club this season, playing in the Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Europa League, scoring two goals and one assist. With United signing Harry Maguire last summer, Smalling will be surplus to requirements.
In the Sunday edition of the Italian paper, they suggested that Smalling was just ‘one step away’ from conforming a move to the Italian capital on a permanent basis, which shows that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has cleared another player that was considered deadwood, out of the squad, which was something that needed to be done for a number of years.
However, the player will remain on loan for another season with Roma paying a €3 million loan fee for the player, then in the summer of 202, a permanent switch will be complete with United receiving between €12 and €15 million, with agreement likely to be in the middle. Smalling has a current contract at United that will last until the summer of 2022.
Since he signed for United in the summer of 2010, signing from Fulham for an undisclosed fee, he has played for the club for nine seasons, making a total of 323 appearances, scoring 18 goals and four assists. It was once thought that Smalling, along with Phil Jones, who signed for the club the following year, could replaced Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
However, that never quite happened. Smalling and Jones, despite both having period of good form, were not quite the partnership to lead United forward and should have maybe been sold a long time ago. A few summer’s ago, the pair would have been free agent, however, the club rewarded the duo with long-term contracts, which was a mistake.