Manchester United are reportedly demanding a transfer fee of £25 million for Chris Smalling, who is wanted by Arsenal, Tottenham and AS Roma.
As per a report from Metro, Manchester United have slapped a price-tag of £25 million on defender Chris Smalling amid serious interest from a number of clubs ahead of the summer. The 30-year-old is wanted by Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, while AS Roma are also keen on converting his current loan transfer into a permanent one.
Smalling, who joined Manchester United from Fulham in 2010, was allowed to leave the club on loan last summer following the arrival of Harry Maguire. The Englishman made the temporary switch to AS Roma and has excelled in Italy, establishing himself as one of the most dependable defenders in the Serie A.
Smalling, so far in 2019-20, has featured in 28 matches across all competitions for Roma, putting in solid displays at the back one after the other, while chipping in with a couple of goals as well. Having been left impressed by the 30-year-old’s performances, the Giallorossi are intent on making his transfer permanent come summer.
However, Manchester United’s latest transfer fee demand of £25 million is understood to have discouraged the Serie A giants. The report claims that Roma were hoping to get a deal done for a fee under £20 million, with earlier reports claiming that Manchester United were looking for only €18 million (£15 million).
Manchester United though, have decided to up the price-tag after seeing interest in Smalling surge in recent weeks. Indeed, along with Roma, the 30-year-old is also being chased by the Red Devils’ Premier League rivals Arsenal with manager Mikel Arteta intent on strengthening his defensive ranks ahead of the next season.
While Shkodran Mustafi has enjoyed some resurgence in the second half of the campaign, David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have blown hot and cold, whereas Calum Chambers and Rob Holding have been battling injuries. The Gunners signed on loan Pablo Mari in January , but it remains to be seen if they make his transfer permanent.
This could explain Arsenal’s interest in Smalling. However, they will also have competition from fellow North London outfit Tottenham Hotspur, who are also monitoring the Manchester United’s situation closely. The Spurs’ backline has been vulnerable all season long and things have failed to improve under former United boss Jose Mourinho.
Moreover, with Jan Vertonghen’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, it is natural that Tottenham are looking at defensive reinforcements for the summer. And Mourinho is reportedly eyeing a reunion with former ward Smalling at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Smalling, who is contracted with Manchester United till 2022, is believed to prefer a permanent transfer to Italy as per the report. However, with AS Roma baulking at the Red Devils’ valuation of the Englishman, it will be interesting to see if they make an attempt to sign him permanently or if Arsenal or Tottenham come up with a formal approach.