The futures of Manchester United fringe players Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and Jesse Lingard remain shrouded in uncertainty as the club seems no closer to moving any of them on.
Roma remain determined to sign Smalling, who is desperate to return to them after a successful season on loan. However, United’s insistence on holding out for €20 million (£18.3m) for the 30-year-old has turned the deal into one of the most protracted in living memory.
However, according to calciomercato.com, Inter Milan could be set to sell Milan Skriniar to Spurs and if they do so, Smalling could head there instead if Inter fail to land their top target, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic.
Rojo, Jones and Romero are proving difficult to move on because of United’s insistence in trying to recoup transfer fees when their salaries are already difficult for many clubs to match.
‘United are also open to offers for goalkeeper Sergio Romero … but the club’s demands for a substantial fee on top of his £90,000-a-week wages have been a deterrent for a number of interested parties.’
Lingard and Pereira are slightly more complicated cases. ESPN’s Rob Dawson said in an interview with United Peoples TV yesterday that Lingard was wanted as a squad player by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and that the club would only be willing to sell him at a premium because he is an academy graduate and because he is English.
One of the few clubs with the desire and financial clout to sign Lingard is Spurs, but if United are asking for £30 million or more and with The Times reporting that Dele Alli now set to stay with the London side, it seems increasingly likely that “JLingz” will be going nowhere this summer.
Andrea Pereira and Diogo Dalot are other players who could be moving on but there are few reports linking them with any interested sides at present.
It all speaks to a frustrating situation, especially when considering transfer guru Fabrizio Romano’s claim that United will only try to sign a centre back if some of these existing players can be offloaded. With just 10 days of the transfer window left, none of that looks likely to happen as things stand.