Roma have broken their deadlock with Manchester United over defender Chris Smalling.
The former England defender had enjoyed a successful season in Italy on loan but there were fears that he would be heading back to his parent club at the end of the extended campaign with the Serie A side unable to afford to buy him permanently.
However, now the two sides may have agreed a compromise. Under the draft agreement, Smalling would stay on loan with Roma next season, and they now have the option to buy him in the summer of 2021 for £15 million.
United had originally wanted £27 million for Smalling, but, given the current final climate, have lowered their asking price. Smalling has made 28 appearances for Roma and has even captained them on several occasions this season.
The latest move effectively signals that Smalling’s United career is now over, a decade after he first joined the club from Fulham.
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.