Manchester United have reportedly told Roma the fee they want for defender Chris Smalling and are refusing to baulk at the price.
The 30-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the world-record signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester in the summer transfer window.
Smalling decided to join Serie A giants Roma on a season-long loan and has put in a number of impressive performances for the Italian outfit this term.
The England international has scored twice and added an assist in the 22 matches that he has played for Roma this term.
Reports have recently linked the centre-back with a permanent move from United to Roma, but Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claims that, with fifth-placed Roma facing a fight to qualify for the Champions League, their failure to qualify for Europe’s biggest club competition would make a deal potentially difficult due to lowered finances.
The Red Devils are said to want ‘no less than €18m’ for Smalling with the total cost – including his long-term contract – coming to ‘almost €40m for a player who turns 31 in November’.
Other English clubs are understood to be interested and the report adds an extra €50m from Champions League revenue would be crucial to competing for Smalling’s signature.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan were unwilling to go through with a late swoop for now-Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo due to his salary demands, according to a report.
United found a temporary stop-gap to their crisis up front by adding Shanghai Greenland Shenhua hitman Ighalo to the ranks on a loan deal until the end of the season.
The deal was announced hours after the transfer window closed last Friday, with United frantically trying to get the deal over the line to avoid being without cover for Marcus Rashford.
Indeed, Ighalo himself has revealed how negotiations leading to the move were “very dramatic”, while confirming that a few other clubs were interested in his signature.
According to Calciomercato, one such club was Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. Read more…