Manchester United ‘demand £25m for Chris Smalling’ from Roma as struggling Red Devils refuse to drop their asking price during transfer talks
Manchester United are refusing to budge in their valuation of Chris Smalling, and want £25million from Roma for the on-loan defender.
Smalling has put in some colossal displays for the Italian outfit this season and his performances have been enough to convince the club to bring him in on a permanent deal.
They have opened discussions with the Old Trafford hierarchy, pitching an initial £13m bid with £3.5m in add-ons, but United turned down that proposal and believe Smalling has justified the price tag they have mooted, according to The Sun.
Chris Smalling has proved his quality with some top displays on loan at Roma this season
The 30-year-old is said to be keen to secure a switch to Roma permanently after settling in well to life in the Italian capital, and would even consider taking a cut to his £130,000 a week wages to push a deal through.
Smalling has featured 20 times for Roma this season, scoring twice and helping to keep seven clean sheets across all competitions.
He has started every game for Paulo Fonseca’s team when fit and has played every single minute, forming a partnership with Gianluca Mancini at the back and leading Roma to fourth place in the Serie A table.
He has started every game when fit and Roma want to make his loan move permanent
But Ed Woodward is playing hardball with the Italians and won’t sell for less than £25million
His displays have been so valuable to Roma that they are now scrambling to get the deal done amid fears he could be interesting other teams, who could beat them to the punch and outbid them.
The centre back was shifted out to the Italian side at the start of the season after falling out of favour with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He played 34 times last season but the Norwegian boss agreed to farm him out with Harry Maguire coming in.
But United have struggled defensively this season and have been without the injured Eric Bailly for long spells. Former United star Rio Ferdinand criticised the club for allowing him to leave on loan in the wake of their 2-0 home loss to Burnley and said he was the best defender Solskjaer had.
Smalling fell out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford and was shipped out
‘He’s the best defender at the club,’ he said. ‘If we’re talking just outright defending, he’s the best defender at the club. I don’t understand it.
‘That’s just my opinion as a centre half looking at it. If I was playing against Burnley today and had to pick a centre half from Manchester United to play, he would be the first name on the sheet.’
Smalling has made 323 appearances for the Red Devils across a decade-long spell, scoring 18 goals and winning eight trophies since signing from Fulham in 2010.