Chris Smalling’s Man Utd exit ‘close’ as Roma up transfer offer after impasse

Chris Smalling is close to an exit from Manchester United with Roma desperate for a move.

The England international signed for the Serie A club last summer in a loan transfer with many writing him off.

But he has refound himself in Italy and become a key part of the first-team.

Roma fans have fallen in love with the former Maidstone United star and have even affectionately nicknamed him 'Smaldini', after the Italian legend Paolo Maldini.

The club have been desperate to make Smalling a permanent member of their squad.

And the ex-Fulham star is keen on staying at the Stadio Olimpico, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making it clear he is not part of his plans.

United have been adamant he would not leave for less than €25m – a fee too far for Roma.

But according to CalcioMercato via Sport Witness, there has been a breakthrough.

They report that Roma are finalising the details between a deal, though it remains to be seen whether which party has broken.

The initial asking price was €5m too much for Roma but a transfer now appears to be imminent.

An agreement has already been made between Smalling and the Giallorossi with the defender putting put to paper on a €3m-a-year contract.

United have plans to bolster their defence in the transfer market, with Solskjaer looking at a new centre-back.

And Red Devils legend Gary Neville reckons his former side need more than that going into the season.

Speaking to the Webby and O’Neill YouTube channel, Neville said: "I think the left-back area is important because Luke [Shaw] has had injury problems.

"I think centre-back is critical and I do think at least one forward is important. I still think we need three or four signings.

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"I’ve got a feeling they [the Manchester United board] are on it and are just not getting them over the line quite as quickly as they’d want.

"But they’re not panicking and they’re still in control I think. They’re not reacting to the market like they were a few years ago, they’re in control.

"The signings are better, they’re a better age-profile and look like they will be at the club for a long time rather than a season or two. I’m positive generally about United, but getting those players over the line is critical."

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