Roma have agreed personal terms with Manchester United misfit Chris Smalling, according to reports in Italy.
Smalling surpassed expectations across an outstanding loan spell at the Stadio Olimpico last term and the 30-year-old is keen to return ahead of the 2020/21 campaign,
The England international was deemed surplus to requirements at United 12 months ago after Harry Maguire arrived in a world-record move – and the Premier League giants have set their sights on signing Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano this summer.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Smalling is keen to move on from United and has agreed to sign a one-year contract with Roma.
The report claims and the Serie A giants are growing increasingly confident of striking a deal with the Red Devils.
Discussions between the two clubs are now expected to accelerate and the next few days could be decisive in determining what the future holds for Smalling, who is tied into a deal at Old Trafford until 2022.
United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left the door open for Smalling’s possible return and was in close contact with the centre-half throughout his impressive loan spell in Italy.
‘I think Chris has shown over his career at Man United how valuable he is for Man United,’ the Norwegian said at a press conference last month.
‘And this season was about him being a regular, going to Roma, showing and proving how good a centre-back he is.
‘I wanted to give Harry, Vic [Victor Lindelof] and maybe Axel [Tuanzebe] a chance and so we found out that was the best for him to go to Roma, play for a year.
‘Now he’s coming back and Chris has shown this season that he’ll be valuable.
‘I’ve been speaking to Chris throughout and I’ve been delighted with his season.’
After wrapping up a £40 million deal for Ajax’s Donny van de Beek, United turned their attentions to signing Upamecano to make up for Maguire’s lack of mobility at the heart of their defence.
Last week, the 21-year-old Frenchman confirmed that he had spoken to interested clubs about a potential move this summer, despite only recently signing a new deal with Leipzig.
‘I extended my contract with Leipzig because I feel good with my team-mates,’ he said.
‘My coach is giving me confidence. He’s learning as well, but he gives me confidence and it improves my level.
‘I’ve been in demand, I talked to some clubs, it’s true, but I’m not in a hurry.
‘We’ll see what happens in the future.’