Chris Smalling: Roma confident of deal for Manchester United defender

Smalling training away from Man Utd's first-team squad; Serie A club moving closer to £20m asking price

TURIN, ITALY - AUGUST 1: Chris Smalling of AS Roma during the Italian Serie A match between Juventus v AS Roma at the Allianz Stadium on August 1, 2020 in Turin Italy (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Image: Smalling made 37 appearances for Roma last term in an impressive season

Roma are increasingly confident they can close a deal for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

The clubs are holding positive talks and it is thought Roma are moving closer to United's valuation of the player.

The 30-year-old impressed on loan at the Serie A giants last season but has been frozen out at Old Trafford following his return, training on his own and being omitted from all of United's matchday squads this season.

Smalling was Roma's top target this summer and the club have approached United multiple times in pursuit of a permanent deal but their offer fell short of the £20m asking price.

Personal terms are not expected to be a problem, with Sky in Italy reporting Roma are ready to offer Smalling a three-year deal.

Chris Smalling has enjoyed something of a renaissance under Roma boss Paulo Fonseca
Image: Roma boss Fonseca wants to bring Smalling back to Italy

Other clubs, such as Inter Milan and Newcastle, have manifested an interest in signing the centre-back this summer after his three goals in 37 appearances for Roma last year.

Smalling returned to Old Trafford in August upon the end of the Serie A season as Roma finished fifth, with the clubs unable to find an agreement to extend his loan to cover the Europa League finals.

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Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has made no secret of the importance of Smalling to his back-line and has been vocal in his wish to bring him back to the Stadio Olimpico.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer allowed Smalling to leave last summer for a £2.7m loan fee, as he said he would be able to enjoy more game time than at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, United are expected to confirm the loan exit of Andreas Pereira to Lazio in the next 24 hours with the Serie A club paying all of the midfielder's wages for the next season.

Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini celebrate after Roma progress

'Smalling desperate to return to Roma'

Sky Sports News' North West reporter James Cooper...

"There's certainly a breakthrough there, I think it's moving in a more positive direction.

"I know that Chris Smalling desperately wants to go back to Roma, he had such a fine time there and was really, really rated by everyone in the Italian capital and they were keen to bring him back on a permanent basis.

"The feeling perhaps from the Smalling side of things is that they've heard lots of warm words over the summer about how good he was and how much they want him, but they haven't seen an offer to back that up.

"But I'm told things are moving in the direction that says that Roma are more incline to pay what Manchester United would like."

Summer transfer window - key dates and times

The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday, October 5 with a feast of activity lined up on Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms.

A domestic-only window for deals between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on SSN and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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