Manchester United Chris Smalling’s proposed move to AS Roma has been thrown into doubt as the Italian club reportedly identify an alternative defensive option incase a deal for the Englishman cannot be struck.
Smalling, 30, has been with United for 10 years and has featured in a total of 323 times for the Reds in a spell which has seen the Englishman win five major trophies including two Premier League titles.
Despite Smalling’s largely successful time in Manchester, the English defenders time in England has been cast into doubt in recent times after the 30-year-old spent last season out on loan with Serie A side AS Roma.
The English centre-back reignited his career in Rome after a hugely successful loan spell saw him feature in 37 matches in all competitions for AS Roma and even be directly involved in an impressive five goals.
Smalling was recalled to United at the back-end of last season when his loan deal expired but has been strongly linked with a permanent return to the club he spent last season with on loan.
According to a recent report from The Guardian, AS Roma are preparing to make a second, improved £18m offer to United for their experienced centre-back.
However, despite the strong suggestions that the Englishman could rejoin AS Roma in a permanent deal, the proposed move may have hit a stumbling block after today’s written edition of Il Messaggero (via Giall Rossi) claims that the Italian club have identified a back-up option should they fail to land Smalling.
The Italian outlet’s report states that AS Roma are considering Santos defender Lucas Verissimo as an alternative to Smalling.