Manchester United are reportedly braced for a second offer for Chris Smalling as AS Roma step up their pursuits to sign the English centre-back.
Smalling enjoyed an impressive season long-loan spell in Rome last season and has not since been reintegrated into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United squad with the expectation that he will depart Old Trafford in the remaining days of the transfer window.
And according to the Guardian, Roma have already had an £11m offer for Smalling rejected as they aim to make the deal to sign the 30-year-old permanent.
It is noted that the Serie A giants are expected to make a second offer for Smalling this week, with United holding out for around £18m in order to boost their own transfer budget.
Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has already revealed he has been in contact with Smalling over the transfer.
“We’re working to get Smalling here,” the Portuguese coach said last weekend, as quoted by the Guardian.
“I’m in contact with him and I spoke to him yesterday. He wants to be here and we want him here. He could join us in the next few days.”
Despite the obvious faults in Solskjaer’s preferred United centre-back pairing of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, Smalling will not be guaranteed first-team football and a move to Roma seems suitable for all parties.
However, it is concerning that the Guardian’s report suggests United may need the funds from Smalling’s sale to bolster their own transfer budget.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on transfers cannot be ignored but United making just one addition in this window is indefensible, particularly given the productivity of their closest rivals.
United have under two weeks to remove excess players from the squad and strengthen in key areas such as centre-back, left-back and right-wing.