Chris Smalling finally nears permanent Man Utd exit 1 year ago

Chris Smalling finally nears permanent Man Utd exit

Smalling is set to be the subject of a second bid from Italy

Chris Smalling is - finally - closing in on a departure from Manchester United.

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The 30-year-old defender spent the entirety of last season on loan with AS Roma and was widely expected to make the move a permanent one in the summer.

So far, Roma have been unable to agree a fee with United, who knocked back an opening bid of £11m from the Italian club several weeks ago. Despite speculation linking their Serie A rivals Inter Milan with a potential approach, it now appears Roma will follow up with a second bid for the England international.

Paulo Fonseca, Roma's manager, indicated over the weekend that he wanted to sign Smalling in time for the new Serie A season and it is now reported by The Guardian that the Giallorossi will imminently submit an improved offer, closer to United's £18m asking price.

Smalling was absent from United's match day as they beat Luton Town in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening. He was also not involved for their 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in their opening fixture of the Premier League season.

United have struggled in the transfer market this summer - attracting criticism from fans and former players alike. After only securing the services of Donny van de Beek from Ajax, Ed Woodward, the club's executive vice-chairman, stressed the difficulty of conducting transfer business in the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that even a club of United's stature were "not immune" from the financial impacts.

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A failure to move on players surplus to requirement is thought to be one of the factors slowing United's ability to bring in reinforcements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad, so the departure of Smalling may accelerate moves for new signings. The club have been strongly linked with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho all summer but appear closer to completing a deal for Porto's Alex Telles, who recently indicated he expected to be a United player within days.