Roma 'accept defeat in their bid to sign Chris Smalling'

Roma ‘accept defeat in their bid to sign Chris Smalling and draw up a list of replacements… including Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen’

  • Roma have accepted Man United’s asking price of £18m will be beyond them
  • Smalling has enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Serie A club this season
  • Roma wanted to sign him permanently but the fee will now prove prohibitive
  • They have reportedly turned their sights to Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen 
  • Belgian will be out of contract and available for nothing at the end of the season 

Roma ‘have accepted defeat’ in their efforts to keep Manchester United loanee Chris Smalling and will pursue other targets ‘including Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen.’

Smalling has been excellent during his time with the Serie A club and Roma were keen to make the defender’s loan permanent.

But, according to Italian newspaper Tuttosport, Roma’s poor financial situation has put Smalling’s asking price of around £18million beyond their reach.

Roma wanted to make Chris Smalling’s (centre) loan from Manchester United permanent but the £18million asking price is reportedly beyond them

Smalling has enjoyed an excellent season with Roma and the Italian club wanted to sign him

Smalling has two years remaining on his £2.7m-a-year United contract and the Old Trafford club are happy to sell him.

But Roma have reportedly moved on to other targets at centre-half, including Tottenham’s Vertonghen who is set to become a free agent when his contract expires next month.

They will face competition from Serie A rivals Inter Milan and Napoli for the 33-year-old Belgian, who has played 311 times for Spurs over eight seasons.

Jan Vertonghen, whose Tottenham contract is about to expire, could be another option 

Hoffenheim defender Kevin Akpoguma (right) is another player reportedly interesting Roma

They have also been offered Jean-Clair Todibo (right), currently on loan at Schalke

Vertonghen said last month he believes free agents like himself will be ‘more coveted’ in the transfer market during the Covid-19 crisis because ‘many clubs don’t have the money to do transfers.’ 

Hoffenheim’s Kevin Akpoguma, 25, a former Germany under-21 international, is another defender Roma are tracking, according to Tuttosport.

They have also been offered Jean-Clair Todibo, 20, currently on loan at Schalke from Barcelona.

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