Tottenham target gives strongest hint yet over preferred next move

Chris Smalling has revealed that he would like to negotiate a permanent transfer to Roma at the end of the season.

The defender has revived his career during his loan away from Manchester United this season, hugely impressing in 25 appearances in all competitions.

While Roma are eager to keep hold of him on a permanent basis, his form may have been almost too good – pricing them out of a potential move.

That had led to murmurs of interest from elsewhere in the Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur and Everton both keen on signing the 30-year-old.

However, the centre-back has dealt a blow to them by revealing he is hoping for discussions with Roma at the end of the season.

“Yeah, I think the plan at the start of the season was to contribute as much as I can and then hopefully if we’ve all had a good season and hit our ambitions then those discussions can take place,” Smalling said in an interview with BBC Sport.

“I’ve been more than happy with my first half of the season, it’s now just making sure that we kick on and finish the season strongly because we have a lot to play for.

“Coming over here and trying to hit ground running with football was the priority. But my family settling in and me learning the language and enjoying the culture, it’s something you need to make the most of.

“My family and I definitely are.”



Smalling, who made more than 300 appearances for United, was also asked about his chances of returning to the England squad for Euro 2020. Gareth Southgate has never really favoured him, but may be unable to ignore his resurgent form.

“Obviously it’s been a couple of years now, but that ambition is always there with England,” Smalling said.

“I know that Gareth and the coaching staff have been to a few of my games over here and I guess you know you are in their thoughts if you are playing at a top club.

“I hold those aspirations, and I just try to focus on here and what comes, comes. But I would very much like to be part of [the Euros], for sure.”