Roma have seen an opening bid of £13million for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling turned down after talks on Monday.
Smalling is currently spending the 2019-20 season on loan at the Stadio Olimpico, after falling down the squad pecking order at Old Trafford.
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Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe have emerged as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice defenders at United, which ultimately led to Smalling’s decision to leave the club on a temporary basis.
The 29-year-old has settled into his new surroundings quickly, scoring once in seven Serie A outings to help Roma climb to third in the Italian top flight.
According to the Daily Star, his performances have attracted the attention of Inter and AC Milan, with Roma now keen to beat their arch-rivals to a permanent deal.
However, the report states that United have turned down an opening off of £13m for Smalling from the Serie A giants, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward holding out for a £17m fee.
It is highly likely that Roma will up their bid in the coming weeks, especially if the experienced star continues to perform at such a high level in Italy.
Smalling seems to be a good fit for Paulo Fonseca’s side and with little chance of fighting his way back into Solskjaer’s starting XI at the Theatre of Dreams, he may be better off staying at the Stadio Olimpico.
Even in the absence of the English centre-back, United still have Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly to call upon in reserve and Maguire, Lindelof and Tuanzebe have performed at a high level this season.
As he approaches the latter stages of his career, Smalling has been handed the chance to keep playing at the very highest level and add to his wealth of experience with a long-term foray into Serie A football.
He would be wise to accept the chance, with a final agreement between Roma and United now surely in the offing which would see the defender join the Giallorossi permanently at the end of his loan spell.