AS Roma have improved their offer for Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and are confident that a deal will now be concluded in January.
Smalling has been in fine form for Roma in Serie A this season and has quickly become a fan favourite at the Stadio Olimpico.
He is also popular with his teammates and was even handed the captain’s armband by Edin Dzeko in a recent Champions League game, a highly unusual honour for a loan player.
With clubs such as Arsenal also interested in signing the 30-year-old, Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolò Schira has now revealed that the Giallorossi have lodged a bid of around £13 million plus £2.6 bonuses, with the Red Devils ready to accept around £17 million.
Smalling will be offered a 5-year contract worth £2.73 million a year (£52,000 per week).
Il primo colpo della nuova #Roma può essere il riscatto di Chris #Smalling dal #ManchesterUnited. Offerti €15M più 3 di bonus. I Red Devils ne vogliono almeno 20. Contratto quinquennale da €3,2M a stagione per il centrale. #calciomercato
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) December 30, 2019
This will mean the Englishman accepting a substantial pay cut from his current £3.64 million, but he is reported to be willing to do so.
Smalling and his wife, glamour model Sam Cooke, are said to have fallen in love with the Eternal City and have asked United to agree to the deal to make the move permanent.
With Marcos Rojo also reported to be allowed to leave in the January window, the Red Devils’ centre back roster could be reduced considerably. However, with Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah back in training and Axel Tuanzebe putting in a number of mature performances already this season, Olé Gunnar Solskjaer will probably feel he has enough cover for Maguire and Lindelof to grant Smalling his request.