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“We are speaking” – Manager confirms talks over Manchester United transfer raid

Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has confirmed he wants to keep Manchester United defender Chris Smalling permanently following his loan transfer to the Stadio Olimpico this season.

Smalling had fallen out of favour at Man Utd but has settled well in Serie A this season, looking a quality addition to this Roma side and like he’d be a worthwhile long-term signing.

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It makes sense that Roma already seem to be working on signing the England international beyond this season, with Fonseca quoted by Sky Sports as singing the player’s praises and confirming some talks are already taking place.

“I would like Chris to stay. We are speaking,” Fonseca said.

“I don’t know if it is possible because of the situation with Manchester United, but I would like so much for Chris to stay here with us because he is very important.

“He is a great player, a great man with a great attitude every day and for all of these reasons I would be very happy if Chris stays.”

It would be interesting to know what United fans would make of this, with Smalling’s form perhaps showing some of them that they wrote him off too soon.

The 30-year-old may not be the best player in the world, but he could surely be an upgrade on the likes of Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones at Old Trafford, while Eric Bailly has performed well but is unreliable due to his poor injury record.

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