Chris Smalling has snubbed a move to Newcastle United as Serie A links to AS Roma, Inter Milan, and Juventus continue to lurk.
According to a report published by Daily Mail, Chris Smalling has no interest in joining Premier League side Newcastle United, amidst serious interest from Serie A giants, AS Roma, Inter Milan, and Juventus.
Smalling has been at Manchester United since 2010, joining from Fulham. He has been a starter at the club for the better part of the decade, playing under five different managers including Sir Alex Ferguson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, he was deemed as ‘surplus’ after United were able to secure the signing of Harry Maguire in the summer of 2019.
Consequently, he was loaned out to AS Roma for £2.7 million, and was a shining light in what has otherwise been a disappointing campaign for the Giallorossi. He managed to stabilise a chaotic defence, keeping six clean sheets in 30 appearances in the Serie A. Without him, Roma managed to keep just the one clean sheet.
His resurgence in Italy has opened up multiple avenues for the Englishman; a return to Manchester United is not one, though. Roma have always been interested in permanently pursuing a move for Smalling, but have been put off by United’s initial quote of £20 million – a hefty price to pay in a coronavirus-hit market.
Newcastle were quick to register an interest in Smalling amidst all this speculation. However, their interest has has reportedly been shot down as swiftly as it came, with the centre-back hoping to stay in the Serie A. Furthermore, he has also offered to take a pay-cut to boost his move out of England, which could be extremely crucial in times like these.
Inter Milan have also come up as possible suitors for him, and could be willing to shell out the £20 million United are asking for. They could also pursue an alternate route which would see Milan Skriniar move the other way in a cash+player deal. The Slovakian, despite his incredible skill set, has not been a regular under Antonio Conte of late, because of his poor transition to a 3-man backline.
Juventus, too, are in the market looking to strengthen their defence, and could turn to the 30-year-old. A move to the Bianconeri would not be ideal for Smalling, though. He would have to fight for a spot against the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Daniele Rugani, Leonardo Bonucci, and Merih Demiral.
A move to Antonio Conte’s Inter could turn out to be the best-case scenario for all three parties involved. The Nerazzurri get an experienced centre-back who plays well in a defensive trio; Manchester United could get a quality centre-half who can start alongside Maguire, and Smalling gets the move to Serie A he has been hoping for.