Manchester United are reportedly demanding £20 million for Chris Smalling this summer with AS Roma, the club he spent the 2019/20 season with on loan, allegedly desperate to sign the player permanently. However, that said, they did not want to pay the money required to sign the player ahead of the deadline to name the final squad for the UEFA Europa League which returned to action last week, which saw Roma eliminated by United’s semi-final opponents, Sevilla.
The 30-year-old saw his loan spell end last week and reports say the player has returned to Manchester, however, the player seems to be enjoying his time off this summer. Smalling became a fans favourite at Roma and at the start of his loan spell had stated that he would like to remain in the country. It is suggested that along with Roma, Inter Milan and Juventus have help some interest in the player although nothing solid has emerged just yet.
Some might feel that United’s valuation of the player is a bit high and because of the coronavirus pandemic, shouldn’t be reduced. However, the fact that player that United might be interested in will not be discounted, why should United apply discount? If a club wants to sign the player, they will need to pay the club’s valuation of him and if this report is correct, that stands at £20 million. United have Smalling contracted until the summer of 2022 after signing a contract renewal in December 2018.
The Sun has reported that Smalling is on £130,000 per week at United and Roma were having to pay a large proportion of his wages last season but that the player would be happy to take a pay cut to get a move away from United and remain in Italy. It is stated that Roma are only interested in paying £15 million for the player this summer, which is a fee that United should think about accepting, possibly applying an add-on to the contract which may allow them to make more money from the deal.
It is stated that United would also like to sell Marcos Rojo this summer and if that happened too, would put them in the market for a new defender coming to the club, which is something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need with Axel Tuanzebe’s injuries, Phil Jones’ inability to remain fit for a full season and Eric Bailly being rather fragile himself. It is a precarious position that United are currently in defensively although they have some good talent coming through from the academy.
Both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire seem to be the first choice partnership at this moment in time with Solskjaer interested in signing a left-sided defender to his squad. Whether that happens though, remains to be seen this summer. It would seem that United will have a lot of business to do this summer, both incoming and outgoing transfers which is going to involve a lot of work. It might be that United end up keeping Smalling, who was not a bad defender to be fair and could play alongside Maguire, if needed to.
Written by John Walker