Chris Smalling has been heavily linked with a return to Italy as Serie A side AS Roma would like to take him back to the club, and the latest update suggests that this could happen sooner rather than later.
According to The Express, Man United and AS Roma are very close to completing a permanent deal for the defender, with the Premier League side desperate to reduce the numbers in their squad.
The Red Devils want around £18 million for the player and if the deal is near, Roma must have been close to the valuation and it looks like they have beaten fellow Serie A side Inter Milan, who were also keen on the player.
Despite him struggling to perform consistently to the level required of a Manchester United player, Smalling flourished last season in Serie A as the 30 year-old managed four clearances and 1.9 interceptions a game, per WhoScored, whilst also scoring three goals and supplying two assists as well as helping his team to keep six clean sheets
The move makes perfect sense, Smalling is 30, and for United to get a very decent amount of transfer money for the centre-back is a great bit of business. The fact they loaned him out at this age also highlights that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deems the player surplus to requirements, so they could use the money to buy a player who the manager would give more game time to.
Smalling has been a great servant for the Red Devils, as he has made 323 appearances for the club in all competitions and won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and League Cup, as well as the Community Shield three times and the Europa League once, per Transfermarkt, so it will be sad to see him leave but feels like the perfect time for all parties for him to depart.
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