Sunshine. La dolce vita. Cult hero status. A regular place in the starting line-up. Such are the attractions tempting Manchester United’s Chris Smalling to take his loan move to Italian giants AS Roma permanent.
The Giallorossi are desperate to sign the 30-year-old after a series of impressive performances that have seen his stock rise considerably in the transfer market – a fact that has not gone unnoticed by Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.
Reports claim that a bid in the region of £10-£13 million was lodged by the Italian club in recent weeks. This was a reasonable opening offer against United’s original reported asking price of somewhere around £17 million. However, amid interest from Arsenal, Inter Milan and Juventus, Woodward believes that Smalling’s market value has risen, and has put the price up to somewhere in the region of £20 million.
- Roma cool interest in Manchester United’s injured Chris Smalling
- Arsenal join race to sign Manchester United’s Chris Smalling – report
- In-form Chris Smalling edges towards permanent Roma transfer
This has frustrated Roma’s chairman James Pallotta and sporting director Gianluca Petrachi, who have responded by saying that the club cannot afford such a fee for a 30-year-old. For Roma now, the best chance of securing the Englishman’s signature is if the player himself asks for the move, reports claim.
And now the Romans may be about to get their way.
A report in Il Messagero claims that Smalling has decided he wants to stay in the Italian capital.
The perfect way to end the year! Thank you to all the fans for the love and support which has been non stop. Happy holidays and then we are back to kick on again in 2020! #forzaroma💛❤️ pic.twitter.com/XuwFBuB2mM
The outlet reports that Smalling met with club officials last week and told them that he wanted to stay. ‘It was a decision that came after talking about it for a long time with his wife, the ex-model Sam Cooke, who was literally in love with the city’ the report states.
The Italians will now expect Smalling to intervene on their behalf and ask Woodward to lower the asking price so that the defender can transform his Roman Holiday into a permanent Place in the Sun.