Roma will reportedly have to be able to offer Champions League football to sign Man Utd loanee Chris Smalling on a permanent basis this summer.
The 30-year-old joined the Giallorossi on a season-long loan deal from United last summer, and he has established himself as a key figure in the backline.
Smalling has made 22 appearances to date, filling the void left behind by Kostas Manolas as Roma continue to battle for a top-four finish in Serie A this season.
It’s now been suggested that their ability to qualify for the Champions League could now be decisive in their attempts to sign Smalling on a permanent basis.
According to Calciomercato, it will take an offer of €18m to prise him away from Man Utd, but it’s added that if they wish to convince the England international to extend his stay at the Stadio Olimpico, they must also be in a position to give him the chance to play in Europe’s premier competition.
They’re certainly in contention to do so as things stand, as after 22 games of the Serie A campaign, Paulo Fonseca’s men sit in fifth place, level on points with Atalanta in fourth.
With Lazio 11 points ahead in third spot, it seems as though it will ultimately come down to who claims that last qualification position, and Roma are certainly in the thick of that particular race.
In turn, it remains to be seen if they tick that box, while the Daily Mail reported last week that CEO Gianluca Petrachi is in favour of a permanent swoop for Smalling such has been his positive influence on the side. Time will tell though if the pieces fall into place for that move to happen this summer.