Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly planning on making a shock move to sign Manchester United star Chris Smalling, who has impressed on loan at AS Roma this term.
As per a report from Italian outlet Tuttosport, Tottenham Hotspur are planning a raid on manager Jose Mourinho’s former employers Manchester United in the summer, as they have their eyes set on Chris Smalling, who is excelling on loan with Serie A side AS Roma this season.
Smalling was allowed to leave Manchester United on loan last summer, following the record arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester City. And the 30-year-old has gone on to defy expectations and enjoy a fine spell during his stint in Italy with Roma.
Smalling has featured in 28 matches across all competitions for the Giallorossi in the 2019-20 campaign, scoring two goals and setting up one more, while helping Roma to nine clean sheets. Owing to his solid and reliable performances at the back, Italian media have gone on to dub him as ‘Smalldini’ after AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini.
Having been impressed with how the 30-year-old has impressed in his debut campaign in Italy, Roma are believed to be keen on making his transfer permanent before the next season kicks off. And Manchester United are open to a sale and have reportedly slapped a €18 million price tag on Smalling.
Amid serious interest from Roma to make the deal permanent, Tottenham Hotspur have now joined as competitors for the signing of Smalling. The Spurs’ backline has been found wanting all season, with the arrival of former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho also unable to steady a leaky defence.
While Tottenham have taken a step forward in the right direction by securing Toby Alderweireld’s future with a new contract, his compatriot Jan Vertonghen could be allowed to leave when his deal runs out at the end of the season. That would leave Mourinho and Spurs in need of a new central defender, with Smalling now emerging as a prime target.
It is interesting to note that Mourinho spent most of his time at Manchester United chasing new central defenders and had signed Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, which does not say much about the trust he showed on Smalling’s abilities.
However, the Portuguese might have had a change of heart after seeing the 30-year-old resurrect his career in fine fashion in Italy. It remains to be seen if Tottenham do really act on this reported interest on the Englishman come summer though.