Serie A side Roma have conceded defeat in their attempts to sign Chris Smalling on a permanent deal.
The Manchester United defender joined the Italian club on loan at the start of the season, and quickly settled down in his new environment, producing a series of impressive performances, and even captaining the side on a number of occasions.
They had wanted to convert the loan into a permanent arrangement, but were struggling to meet United’s valuation of £18 million of him before the shutdown of football in Italy. Now their financial situation as a result of it makes it an impossibility, even if the Premier League side may be forced to lower the price they want for him.
Instead they will turn their attention to other targets, including Tottenham centre-half Jan Vertonghen, who is available on a free transfer this summer.
They will face competition for his signature though from domestic rivals Inter Milan and Napoli, who are also interested in the 33 year old Belgian.
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.