Chris Smalling has not given up on securing a permanent move to AS Roma despite having returned to Old Trafford at the end of his loan spell.
Smalling tweeted that he was ‘gutted’ to leave the Giallorossi at the beginning of August when the two clubs failed to agree a transfer fee.
The player continues to have photos of himself holding his Roma shirt and a Roma scarf as his Twitter profile and cover pictures.
I’m gutted that I can’t finish what we started this season. To experience the love shown to me in such a short time was extra special and it will not be forgotten. I want to thank and wish all the players and staff the best of luck against Sevilla. DAJE ROMA! ?❤️ ? pic.twitter.com/9vHfpWUNsz
And, as reported here two weeks ago, Roma’s CEO Guido Fienga also left the door open for his return, saying ‘if the conditions were met, we would be honoured to be able to count on [him] again.’
The issue for all parties has always simply been the transfer fee and that might now be a subject that is reopened for three reasons.
First, it was reported yesterday in Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) that ‘United are slowly but surely realising that their €20m + €5 bonuses is in reality a fee difficult to bring in’.
Second, Smalling’s entourage has reportedly offered the player to Inter Milan in an attempt to stay in Italy. Inter have more financial power to make a deal happen but are less motivated than Roma, who will not want to see their star switch to a rival club.
Third, and arguably most importantly, Roma announced yesterday that they are under new ownership – American tycoon Dan Friedkin – who has pledged to ‘make [AS Roma] one of the leading names in the football universe’.
There is every expectation that one of Friedkin’s first acts will be to agree a transfer budget with Fienga which could well pave the way for an improved bid for the Englishman.
The fact that these three significant developments appear to be aligning at the right time means that it is likely that Chris Smalling will be able to resume his odyssey in the Eternal City and that negotiations will resume in the coming days, if they have not already.
Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood scored over 60 goals between them last season. But how much do you know about other strikers who played for the Red Devils over the years? Take our quiz below to find out.