Roma will reportedly look to Liverpool stalwart Dejan Lovren if they are unable to sign Man Utd loanee Chris Smalling on a permanent basis this summer.
Smalling, 30, has been a successful addition to the Roma squad this year after joining on a season-long loan deal from United last summer.
In turn, as noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, it has led to Giallorossi boss Paulo Fonseca himself insisting that he wants the England international to remain if a deal can be done to sign him outright.
It’s unclear if that will be possible at this stage, as given the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the threat of Roma missing out on the Champions League and the revenue that comes with that competition, they may not be able to splash out to sign Smalling on a permanent basis.
With that in mind, Calciomercato report, via the paper edition of GdS, that if Smalling does return to Old Trafford this summer, Roma have identified Lovren as a suitable alternative plan to fill that void at the back.
The 30-year-old has continued to play a limited role at Liverpool this season, making just 14 appearances across all competitions as he has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield behind the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
However, he boasts great experience at club and international level still and could be a useful addition for many sides, and with his current contract set to expire in 2021, it could help Roma negotiate a decent, and affordable, fee as far as they’re concerned.
It’s added in the report above that given the business done between the two clubs in recent years, namely Mohamed Salah and Alisson moving to Merseyside, it could help that they have good relations between the respective hierarchies.
Time will tell if Smalling firstly departs or extends his stay in the Italian capital, but if it’s the former, then it seems Lovren could be given a chance to secure a more prominent role at Roma next season if he wishes to take on a fresh challenge.