Man Utd have lowered their asking price for defender Chris Smalling as Serie A side Roma make a breakthrough in transfer talks, according to reports.
Harry Maguire’s arrival as the world’s most expensive defender last summer left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a bloated squad and, while far from the worst centre-back on the books, the 30-year-old was allowed to leave on a year-long loan.
Smalling has shone in Serie A to the point where his England career looks set to be revived, with Gareth Southgate heading to Rome to watch a defender he looked to have all but ruled out ever calling up again.
Solskjaer has spoken of his expectation that in-form Smalling would return to Man Utd next season, but Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is hoping to keep him in Italy.
And now Roman radio station Tele Radio Stereo claims that the Serie A outfit have agreed a deal that will see Smalling join Roma on loan again next season before completing a £15-16m move.
Man Utd had been holding out for £25m but Roma have now made a breakthrough at a lower price with the payment of the £15-16m being spaced out over two seasons to allow the Italians to spread the cost.