Manchester United loanee Chris Smalling’s performances for Roma in Italy’s Serie A this season have catapulted him onto Arsenal’s January shopping list, according to The Sunday People (via the Daily Star).
The Gunners’ at times comical defensive performances so far this season have left the board prioritising the purchase of a quality centre back and Smalling has emerged as a leading contender.
Chris Smalling’s game by numbers vs. Inter:
100% long ball accuracy
85% pass accuracy
75% aerials won
5 ball recoveries
0 x dribbled past
0 goals conceded
An astute performance vs. one of the best sides in Serie A. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8GyQ7P1LnP
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 6, 2019
Roma themselves have reportedly already opened negotiations to make Smalling’s move permanent, with various reports claiming a bid of around £10 million has been rejected by the Old Trafford board and that a £13 million improved offer is about to be placed.
Juventus, Leicester and Everton are also believed to be keeping tabs on Smalling’s situation but United are reported to be holding out for at least £18 million. Meanwhile, manager Olé Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted at a recent press conference that the 30-year-old will be rejoining his teammates at Old Trafford at the end of the season.