Chris Smalling wants to Stay at Roma
Earlier in the year, when asked if Chris Smalling would be returning to Old Trafford in the summer after his loan expired, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer simply said “yeah.”
Reports this morning — apparently emanating from Smalling’s camp — is that the on-loan defender wants to stay at AS Roma on a permanent basis. If true, this will be a big loss for United, as Smalling has arguably outperformed some of the defenders currently at the club.
After resurrecting his career as an anchor in the Roma backline, Smalling has seen his chances for a national side call up improve too, as England coach Gareth Southgate has flown to Roma several times to watch Smalling play.
Smalling’s transfer price is around £13 million and Roma are expected to meet that requirement to secure a permanent deal. Arsenal, Juventus, and Inter Milan have also shown interest in Smalling but he has told his agents and Roma about his desire to stay.
Smalling has surpassed expectations at the back for Roma and has even worn the captain’s armband this term, so it’s perhaps no surprise that he wants to stay on in the Italian capital.
Dean Smith Reminds Us, Jack Grealish Is Not for Sale
Aston Villa find themselves in a relegation battle and isn’t a surprise that boss Dean Smith has issued a message to United and other teams that Jack Grealish is not for sale in the January transfer window.
During his interview ahead of Villa’s FA Cup third-round clash away at Fulham, Smith said about Grealish, “He’s a top player but as I’ve said before, our owners are very ambitious and want to establish us as a top Premier League club.”
“To do that you have to keep your best players, so we’ll be keeping hold of Jack Grealish. People can keep looking but they can’t touch.”
With all the turmoil in the midfield positions at United, Grealish was a priority for Solskjaer as he looks for help in that area. If Grealish does stay, United will be forced to look elsewhere for the midfield help they desperately need.