Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has insisted that he will do all he can to ensure Chris Smalling seals a permanent switch from Man Utd when his loan deal ends.
The 30-year-old joined the Giallorossi on a season-long loan deal last summer, and after a slow start to life at the Stadio Olimpico, he has established himself as a key figure in the side.
Brought in to help fill the void left behind by Kostas Manolas, Smalling has made 28 appearances so far this season with Roma continuing to challenge for a top-four finish in Serie A as they hope to book their spot in the Champions League next year.
With the season currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen if they go on to do so, but Fonseca has seemingly seen enough from Smalling already to be convinced that he wants him on a permanent basis while he has insisted that the England international wants to stay in Rome too.
“I will do everything I can to keep him at Roma next year too,” Fonseca told ESPN. “I know he wants to stay, let’s see what happens.
“He’s an amazing man, so humble, so professional. He is adored by the fans and established himself as one of the leaders in the dressing room.
“It’s not easy for English central defenders to adapt so quickly to Italian football, the record there isn’t good. But he has been amazing.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport add that Man Utd are said to want between €20m-€25m to green light a permanent exit for Smalling, and it’s suggested that it could be difficult for Roma to meet those demands.
In turn, it remains to be seen if the two clubs can reach a compromise, particularly with the negative financial impact the coronavirus pandemic is having and will continue to have in the months ahead, but what is clear at this stage is the will of both the player and his current club wanting a permanent deal.
With Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly at his disposal currently, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may well feel as though they can afford to let Smalling go, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee an agreement on his valuation.