Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling has reportedly become the subject of an Italian tug-of-war after Inter Milan attempt to hijack AS Roma’s efforts to strike a deal for the experienced defender.
Smalling, 30, looks to be the next name to depart the Reds as a nine-year spell with the club comes to an end after spending this season out on loan with Serie A AS Roma.
The Englishman has impressed during his time with AS Roma as he went onto endure some of his best form last campaign having featured in 37 games in all competitions, scoring three along the way.
Despite his parent club United bringing him back to Old Trafford after his loan expired it was widely suggested that AS Roma will begin negotiations for a permanent deal right away.
However, despite AS Roma appearing to lead the race for the 30-year-old domestic rivals Inter Milan now look set to swoop in at the last minute as they try and snatch Smalling away from AS Roma.
According to FC Inter News, as translated by Sport Witness, Antonio Conte would like to bring Smalling to the San Siro but will need to offload current centre-back Milan Skriniar first.
Skriniar, 25, has found himself out of favour in recent times having been benched in four of his side’s last seven competitive games including Inter Milan’s crucial Europa League semi-final tie against Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this week.
Surely given these reports United need to be thinking outside of the box and start to consider a possible swap deal between Smalling and Skriniar.
A possible part-exchange deal would make total sense for all parties involved. Smalling gets a deserved move away where he can continue to flourish in the latter stages of his career, Inter Milan offload a player who’s future is clearly not with the Nerazzurri and United get a much-needed new centre-back.
Skriniar has been linked with United by Calciomercato in the past so this now seems a good opportunity to revive a potential deal.