The financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic seem to have put paid to Chris Smalling’s hopes of a permanent move to Roma.
The former England defender had enjoyed an excellent first season In Italy, quickly adapting to the lifestyle and producing a string of impressive performances. That prompted Roma to try to make the deal permanent, although the two clubs were apart in their valuation of the player.
However, all that was before the halt of football, and the government lockdowns which came into place all across Europe. Roma were strapped for cash before the crisis, and they will not able to afford him unless they sell some of their prize assets, who would have fallen in value anyway because of the crisis.
Smalling, therefore, will return to Old Trafford at the end of the season, and faces an uncertain future, with United keen to sell him to get his £100,000 a week salary off their books.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.