Roma have reportedly identified Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren and Tottenham stalwart Jan Vertonghen as possible alternatives if Chris Smalling returns to Man Utd.
The 30-year-old joined the Giallorossi on a season-long loan deal last summer, and so a decision will be needed as to whether or not they sign him outright.
Having made a big impact and established himself as a key figure in the side while Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has publicly insisted that he wants Smalling to stay permanently, it would make sense for it to happen.
That said, with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic likely to have a negative effect on Roma and their transfer plans, it’s unclear if they will be able to splash out the fee needed to convince Man Utd to sell.
In turn, Calciomercato report that Lovren and Vertonghen have been identified as possible alternative options. The Liverpool man’s contract expires in 2021 and so perhaps he’ll be available for a lesser fee this summer if the Merseyside giants can’t agree on new terms as they’ll want to avoid losing him for nothing next year.
Meanwhile, Vertonghen will become a free agent this summer as things stand, and so perhaps the Belgian stalwart could be the more likely option as it would allow Roma to focus on agreeing on personal terms rather than negotiating a reasonable fee with Spurs.
Time will tell how the situation plays out as much could also depend on the outcome of the current Serie A campaign and if they qualify for the Champions League next year, but it appears as though the Giallorossi are making back-up plans in case they can’t seal the deal for Smalling to stay at the Stadio Olimpico.