Smalling has been a star performer for Roma this season and the club has been desperate to sign the England defender but they were already struggling to justify anything close to United’s £23 million asking price. The Red Devils reportedly rejected a £13.8 million bid from the Italians out of hand in January.
And now that football has been plunged into chaos due to the coronavirus crisis, the Italians have ruled themselves out of the race.
‘The moment the pandemic is over and football is played again, the next season will also have to be reckoned with, which for each team promises to be very tough in economic terms’ the outlet says.
‘The Giallorossi were betting on Smalling’s confirmation, which however from what has been learned in the last few days will not take place given the high request made by Manchester United, who are trying to get as much as possible for the player.’
The news is confirmed by The Sun, whose source inside the Italian club said ‘We know Chris would love to stay and it is a deal which suits all parties at the end of the season.’
‘The financial reality, however, is very different. The people at Roma have many new things to consider.’
The news will come as a blow to the 30-year-old, who has settled well in the Italian capital and become something of a cult figure at the Stadio Olimpico. Speaking about the current crisis in a Whatsapp chat on his Twitter account this week, Smalling said ‘My wife and son are here [in Rome], as well as my mother-in-law and my cousin. We have company at least.’
‘I am happy to spend more time with my son Leo, I can finally dedicate myself to him and I found out that a 10 month old baby is a full time job.’
Arsenal remain interested in the England man’s services, although they too may have to review their transfer plans due to COVID’s financial impact according to an article today in The Telegraph.
The news means that unless the Red Devil’s drastically reduce their asking price, Smalling will almost certainly return to Old Trafford, where he will compete against Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw and Phil Jones for one of the first team’s centre back berths.
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