AS Roma have submitted a significantly improved bid for loanee Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, according to reports from Italy.
Smalling has been in fine form for the Serie A giants since his arrival from Old Trafford and has struck up an excellent partnership with Gianluca Mancini in the heart of the Giallorossi’s defence.
There appeared to be a deadlock in negotiations after Roma’s initial bid – believed to be either £10 million or €10 million (around £8.5 million) was refused by United, with reports claiming that executive vice chairman Ed Woodward had increased the asking price from around £15 million to around £20 million after the player’s performances had attracted the interest of other clubs, including Arsenal and both Inter and AC Milan.
However, as reported here this week, the 30-year-old has now nailed his colours to the mast and stated that he wants to stay in Rome and make the move permanent.
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Strengthened by the player’s stance, the Italians have now submitted an improved offer of €15 million and are confident that this will be enough to persuade Woodward to close the deal for the defender, claims Giallorossi.com.
Such is Smalling’s desire to stay in the Eternal City that he will agree to take a substantial pay cut, the outlet claims.
The only fly in the ointment for Smalling and the Italian side could be this season’s woeful defensive performances of the Red Devils, which have left a number of fans and media experts speculating as to whether Smalling should be recalled in order to steady a sinking ship.
Over to you, Mr Woodward.