Everton have enquired about the possibility of signing Chris Smalling from AS Roma, according to Italian newspaper Il Tempo (via Sport Witness).
Smalling joined Roma permanently last summer in an initial £13.6million deal after spending a season on loan in the Italian capital.
A series of injuries limited Smalling to just 13 Serie A starts, with a further three substitute appearances.
Smalling averaged 1.8 interceptions, 2.8 clearances and 1.6 successful aerial duels per game when he was fit (via WhoScored).
The Englishman, of course, previously played for Manchester United, where he racked up a total of 323 appearances.
After a previous spell at Fulham, he’s got more than 200 Premier League games under his belt.
The report states that new Roma boss Jose Mourinho, who managed Smalling during his own stint at Old Trafford, is unconvinced by the 31-year-old.
A Premier League return could be on the cards if the ‘right offer’ arrives, though Everton’s interest hasn’t progressed that far just yet.
Everton do need a new centre-back this summer if they’re to compete for a top-six finish, with Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey showing potential to be a really good pairing but little quality depth after that.
An elite-level defender will elevate the whole backline, but unfortunately Smalling doesn’t fit that criteria.
While he may be a solid player, he wouldn’t represent an upgrade on Keane or Godfrey based on his troubles in Rome – the very fact that Mourinho doesn’t want him for a second stint should speak volumes too.
The Blues need to be showing more ambition, and having a manager of Rafael Benitez’s calibre should mean they maintain strong pulling power even after Carlo Ancelotti’s exit.
In other news, fans raged at this Marcel Brands news.
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