Roma are expected to finalise a permanent deal to sign Chris Smalling in the coming weeks after talks over the on-loan star resumed.
Smalling, who was pushed out of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the summer following the arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester, has kicked on since moving to the Serie A having put in several solid performances and becoming a firm favourite with their supporters.
Recent reports have linked Roma with sealing a permanent deal for the centre-back and, according to Italian news outlet Tuttosport, United are demanding a €20m fee for the centre-half.
However, Roma’s initial offer was only thought to be around the €12m mark – some €8m short of the fee United were seeking – meaning their hopes of getting the deal done in January appeared remote.
However, il Corriere dello Sport claims such has been Smalling’s impact in Rome – the player has been labelled by supporters as their best new signing in some time – and that his affection for the city is mutual after they reported Smalling has “fallen in love with the area” and how he’s been received at the club.
Furthermore, the paper reports that he’s ‘convinced’ to stay where he is, and that Smalling’s desire will be ‘fundamental in negotiations’ with Manchester United for a permanent deal.
They claim Smalling and his family are well settled on the outskirts of Rome and has a number of favourite restaurants, where he regularly frequents and enjoys their ‘vegan carbonara’.
The article claims talks are underway over a compromise with United over the fee, with Roma ready pay an initial €15m with some additional monies made up in bonuses and add-ons.
As per the report, it’s claimed an agreement is soon expected to be reached and his permanent signing can be announced ‘certainly before Christmas’.