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Chris Smalling: what happens next for the Manchester United centre-back?

by Red Billy

It is now almost certain that Chris Smalling will return to Manchester United and not continue his loan at Roma.

Smalling has been one of Serie A’s stand-out defenders this season and the Rome side were desperate to extend his loan for another season, including the Europa League which resumes on Wednesday.

As with Alexis Sanchez’s loan at Inter, United’s negotiators Ed Woodward and Matt Judge have tried to use the Europa League deadline to force Roma’s hand and agree to a permanent deal.

There was talk of another season-long loan with a compulsory purchase in June 2021 but agreement has not been reached as to the final figure, with United wanting around £18 million and Roma only willing to pay around £11 million.

The latest suggestion from United was a temporary loan amount of around £275,000 per game for the Europa League, but Roma have said no to the proposal, according to various sources.

‘Roma have now resigned themselves to losing Chris Smalling for the Europa League, but the deal for the Englishman could reopen later,’ reports giallorossi.net.

‘Meanwhile, the Giallorossi club are studying alternatives for the future, and a market intermediary has offered Roma Samuel Umtiti, who is available on loan from Barcelona.

‘These days there has also been a lot of talk about [Jan] Vertonghen but … at the moment his arrival … seems rather difficult.’

Smalling now faces an uncertain future. He will return to Old Trafford not knowing whether Roma will want to loan him again next season or whether he will be asked to reintegrate with the United squad.

The player expressed his desire to stay in the Italian capital but United’s negotiators are clearly convinced that either he is more valuable to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer than the amount Roma have offered or that they can get a better deal for him elsewhere.

He took to Twitter this morning to say he is ‘gutted that I can’t finish what we started this season.’

Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood have scored over 60 goals between them so far this season. But how much do you know about other strikers who played for the Red Devils over the years? Take our quiz below to find out.

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