‘There is a chance’ – Club chief keen to make Man Utd loanee’s move permanent in summer

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Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi has insisted that Chris Smalling will decide his future but would be happy to sign the Man Utd loanee permanently.

As noted by BBC Sport, the 30-year-old joined the Giallorossi on a season-long loan deal last summer, and has flourished in the Italian capital thus far.

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With 21 appearances to his name, he has chipped in with two goals and an assist to show an attacking threat, while Roma have conceded just 23 goals in 21 Serie A games so far this season, giving them the fifth best defensive record in the top flight.

Smalling has been an important part of that as they continue to scrap for a top-four finish this year, and it seems as though his performances have impressed Petrachi enough already to convince him to try and do a deal if the player himself wants a permanent switch.

“There is a chance,” Petrachi told Sportsmail. “The player will choose what to do. If he really wishes, we will be happy to have him with us permanently.

“We are very happy with Smalling and he knows it. With Manchester United, the relationship is excellent, we have an excellent feeling with the club.

“He loves Rome and the Italian lifestyle. He follows an Italian course to improve his grasp of the language. This made me very happy because it shows that the boy is intelligent.

“Technically he is very strong. I think it is fundamental for a sporting director to understand how some players can do well. I thought this move could work and I’m happy that the results prove me right.

“Smalling was perfect for my football idea to help Mancini to grow rapidly. Smalling is a serious and professional guy, a good person.”

That certainly sounds as though Petrachi is convinced that signing Smalling permanently would be a positive move for the club, and so now much will depend on whether or not the England international wants to call time on his spell at Man Utd or if he wishes to head back and try win back his place next season.

Further, an agreement would be need to be reached between the two clubs also, and so it seems as though there are still several things that need to fall into place for a transfer to go through.

Nevertheless, if Smalling maintains his current form, it seems fairly certain that Roma will do their part to try and prise his away from Man Utd this summer.

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