Manchester United have told Roma they will have to pay £18m if they are to keep Chris Smalling on a permanent basis.
That’s according to Tuttosport, as sourced by the Metro, who report that the Serie A giants want to keep the defender beyond his season-long loan spell.
Smalling’s move to Italy was a surprising one as many had expected him to provide defensive back up for Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof this season.
But the 29-year-old made just 17 appearances for the Reds last season and would have been starved of first-test opportunities in this campaign, so made the right move to further his career.
It’s good to see that Smalling has made a positive impact so far during his loan-spell in Rome and it will be interesting to see where his future lies.
It seems unlikely that he will make his way back into Solskjaer’s first-team upon his return despite an impressive run of form in Italy.
In Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, Solskjaer already has a surplus of defensive cover and Smalling may prefer to stay in Rome to play regular first-team football.
However, it remains to be seen whether Roma would pay the reported £18m asking price for the centre-back.