Roma and Man Utd have reportedly resumed talks over turning Chris Smalling’s current loan deal into a permanent switch next year.
As noted by BBC Sport, the 29-year-old joined Roma on a season-long loan deal this past summer, as the Giallorossi looked to fill the void left behind by Kostas Manolas after his switch to Napoli.
It arguably made sense for Smalling too with Harry Maguire being signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over the summer to bolster his defensive options, which in turn added more competition for places and the threat of less playing time.
It appears as though it was a sensible decision now given the England international has featured eight times for the Italian giants so far this season after overcoming an early injury setback, and they’ve conceded just six goals in the games that he has been involved in.
With seven consecutive starts and full 90 minutes in Serie A under his belt, Smalling appears to be going from strength to strength in the Italian capital, and so in turn it would be no surprise if they are keen to turn his loan spell into a permanent deal.
According to Calciomercato, via the paper edition of Il Tempo, talks resumed between the two clubs on Thursday morning with the suggestion being that Roma are opening with a €10m proposal, although that’s short of the touted €15m+ needed to convince Man Utd to sell.
It’s added that both Smalling and his wife are keen on a stay in Rome which could be crucial in pushing the deal through, while details of a possible contract are also noted with Smalling potentially taking a salary cut on a deal that will run until 2024.
That would take him up to the age of around 34, and so evidently this is a pivotal decision for the player himself as well as it could be the last major contract he signs at a top club trying to compete for trophies.
Time will tell if Man Utd green light a permanent exit, but having conceded just 11 goals in 11 Premier League games so far this season while only scoring 13, it appears as though their more prominent issues are in attack rather than at the back which could leave Smalling surplus to requirements for Solskjaer.
That said, such has been the impressive level of his performance for Roma thus far, they could be tempted to bring him back and hand him a key role instead.