Man Utd, Roma apart on Smalling as ex-Tottenham star enters equation

Date published: Thursday 30th July 2020 2:18


Man Utd and Roma are at loggerheads regarding the future of Chris Smalling, leading to a potential opening for a former Tottenham favourite.

The Red Devils are understood to be open to allowing Smalling to depart Old Trafford this summer.

The England defender spent last season on-loan in the Italian capital, and outperformed expectations by all accounts.

Roma are keen to turn his temporary stay permanent, but the predictable issue of money has caused complications.

Further to that previous report, Inside Futbol (citing Italian newspaper Il Messaggero) reveal that there is a €6m discrepancy between the two clubs’ respective valuations.

Man Utd are described as being ‘adamant’ in their desire to recoup a large fee for Smalling. But Roma are financially restricted having suffered greatly during the coronavirus pandemic.

The article states that both parties are ‘refusing to compromise’, which may end up benefiting former Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen.

The Belgian, 33, is currently a free agent having departed Spurs after eight superb years with the club.

Vertonghen Tottenham TEAMtalk

Veteran centre-halves have often found a home in Serie A late into their careers, with the slower pace and more tactical style better suited to their current skillsets.

Indeed, an Italian move could be on the cards for Vertonghen, with the Inside Futbol report noting Roma’s interest.

The Giallorossi are described as ‘seriously considering’ an approach for Vertonghen, should the Smalling deal not materialise.


Mourinho takes aim at Bruno Fernandes and Man Utd

Mourinho Tottenham Man Utd TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Mourinho’s former club – The Red Devils – have come in for scorn from the Portuguese.

Man Utd found a rich vein of form over the latter and punctuated 2019/20 season. Solskjaer’s side remained unbeaten in the Premier League since a 2-0 home defeat to Burnley on January 22 – form which secured a third-placed finish.

That will bring with it a return to the Champions League next season – and a guaranteed £120m windfall.

A big part of their revival has been the astonishing form shown by Fernandes. Since arriving in an initial £46.6m deal, Fernandes has netted eight goals and added a further seven assists.

Fernandes was on target at Leicester from the penalty spot on the final day. The Portuguese star tucked home their 14th spot-kick of the season.

And seemingly their apparent favouritism from referees has drawn a sly dig from their former boss Mourinho.

Read the full story here.


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