Roma have all but ended their interest in signing Manchester United defender Chris Smalling and have decided to pursue a cheaper deal for Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren, according to reports.
Smalling has rediscovered his form during his loan in the Serie A, having been told by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last summer that he would receive limited game due to Harry Maguire’s arrival.
Indeed, Smalling has become a fan favourite at Roma, who are said to be keen to make the 30-year-old’s deal permanent.
However, reports have indicated that the defender wants to return to the Premier League with his next move and that United’s price tag of the player is out of Roma’s reach.
As such, Italian newspaper Corrierre dello Sport has described as a Roma deal for Smalling as “unthinkable”, with Arsenal touted as an ideal next destination.
Furthermore, it is claimed that the Serie A giants want to “reconnect” with Lovren‘s entourage, having been in touch about a deal for the Croatia international last summer.
The newspaper says that Lovren’s price will be “significantly lower” than Smalling’s and that the centre-back would be willing to rekindle talks.
Indeed, the speculation surrounding Lovren’s future at Anfield has heightened after he was pushed further down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp.
Virgil van Dijk’s arrival has led to improvements from Lovren, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez but the latter two have partnered the Dutchman most frequently since the start of last season.
Gomez formed a formidable partnership with Van Dijk for the first half of last term before a serious injury allowed Matip to claim his place, with the two – along with Lovren – interchanging admirably since then.
In other news, Sevilla have reportedly emerged as leading contenders to sign Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Switzerland international has been heavily linked with a move away from Anfield due to injuries.