The Chris Smalling saga takes another turn as AS Roma table €15 million bid to make one last ditch attempt to secure his services.
According to a report by Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, AS Roma have relaunched their attempt to woo Chris Smalling to Italy. This time, it comes in the form of a fresh €15 million + add-ons bid.
Smalling joined Manchester United from Fulham over a decade ago and subsequently flitted in and out of the side over several seasons. His best spell as a Manchester United player came under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal while also enjoying impressive periods when Jose Mourinho was at the helm at Old Trafford.
However, following the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it slowly started to become clear that Smalling was not going to remain a regular at the heart of the Manchester United defence. His fate was sealed when the Red Devils secured the services of Harry Maguire in a big-money transfer last summer.
Smalling was then shipped out to AS Roma on a season-long loan deal, in a move that came as a bit of a surprise. The 30-year-old, though, impressed during his stay in the Italian capital, turning out 37 times for the Giallorossi, even chipping in with three goals and two assists. The player subsequently returned to Manchester United when his loan spell was not extended for the Europa League games.
While back at United, it was still believed that Smalling’s future was away from Old Trafford. There was interest from Newcastle United and other Premier League clubs. However, the experienced star had his heart set on a return to Serie A, with Roma keen on signing him permanently.
In recent weeks, there were further developments around the rumours linking Smalling and Roma with a reunion. The most recent one, however, was far from what either party would have wished for – Smalling was reported to stay after Roma and United found themselves at a problematic crossroad.
Roma lost Aleksandar Kolarov to Inter Milan in the previous few weeks but made up with the signing of defensive wonder-kid Marash Kumbulla. The team remains somewhat cut-throat in defensive areas, with just four centre-halves on their payroll. An injury to any of the four could derail Paulo Fonseca’s plans, with the manager preferring a three-person defensive line, and leave them vulnerable at the back.
With less than 24 hours remaining on the 2020 summer transfer clock, Smalling’s future could head either way, and it will be interesting to see how this saga unfolds further.