Italian giants ‘closing in’ on a permanent move for long-term Manchester United servant

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

Manchester United have reportedly opened talks with Italian giants.

What a journey Chris Smalling have had in English football circuit – from being a non-league footballer with Maidstone to arriving at ‘The Theater of Dreams’ in just less than three years. It has been a rollercoaster ride for the 6ft 4in individual for sure.

His arrival at Manchester United was suspected as the rise of new Rio Ferdinand. He, along-side Phil Jones, was touted as the next Ferdinand-Vidic pair that would rule on the English soil for the foreseeable future.

Expectations were high at that moment, owing to the fact that Manchester United were winning everything.

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United’s legendary gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson’s depature from the club saw his own words “he will be a great asset to the club” disappear in the air. Smalling was seemingly unable to handle the pressure created following the farewells of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

After the departure of the legendary duo, he and Jones were the senior pros in the squad. They had to bear the club’s defence on their shoulder. And it was a massive job, considering the stature of the club.

Since the departure of Sir Alex, the red side of Manchester haven’t lift-up the league title, and this statement somehow exposes United’s defensive frailties.

Over the years, Smalling and Jones were given several chances to prove their potential, and with different managers, but United defence had always been vulnerable.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s emergence at the club in December 2018 saw the boss taking a firm action to break Smalling-Jones partnership in the summer transfer window of 2019.

After witnessing a number of frailties in their defensive department during the dying days of a torrid 2018-19 Premier League season which eventually led them to drop some easy points, Solskjaer found no way but to offload one of the two men in any possible way.

AS Roma came up with a one-year loan deal for Chris Smalling, and both player and the club agreed on the point that it would be better for him to spend a season in Italian top division. Therefore, he went on to play for AS Roma.

Having recorded 29 appearances in Serie A this season, Chris Smalling has managed to help the Italian club keep eight clean-sheets which is absolutely remarkable. It can also be said that he has rejuvenated his life and career in Rome.

Moreover, recent stories surrounding the club suggest that Smalling is desperate to pursue his career at Stadio Olimpico. According to Tele Radio Stereo via Football Italia, AS Roma has started talks with Smalling’s parent club over his permanent move to the capital of Italy.

As per what the report claims, Roma want to extend Smalling’s loan deal for an additional year and then would pay a transfer fee, which is reported to be around €17-18m, to secure his services on a permanent basis.

Although United have put a price tag of €25m on their one of the long-term servants, Smalling’s appetite for first-team football would likely force the Red Devils to offload him in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Still, it remains to be seen whether he signs a permanent deal or spends another one-year on loan with the Italian giants.

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Do you think offloading Smalling from the ranks would be the perfect decision by United management?