LECCE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 29: Chris Smalling of Lecce competes for the ball with Nicolò Zaniolo of Roma during the Serie A match between US Lecce and AS Roma at Stadio Via del Mare on September 29, 2019 in Lecce, Italy. (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris Smalling
Manchester United are reportedly demanding £25million from Roma for the permanent transfer of Chris Smalling.
Smalling’s performances in Serie A – which see him back in contention for England – have meant Roma are keen to secure his services on a long-term basis.
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But Metro report that Roma are shocked by United’s £25million valuation, and are reconsidering whether a move for Smalling would represent value for money.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate went to Italy to watch Smalling play for Roma in December after admitting his regret at criticising his ball-playing ability.
Southgate said: “I’ve never ruled anybody out. I think that would be wrong.
“I think I said I probably regretted the way the message of by praising others for certain attributes, there was criticism for Chris. It was my fault and it was unfair on him.
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“I think Smalling’s done well in Italy. He’s playing at another big club. He was obviously playing at a big club before. We’re watching everybody because we’ve got to make sure we make the right decision.
“I spoke to him when I left him out of the squad and explained what I explained to everybody.
“Of course because of the way it came out, there was little point (in talking to him again) because I wasn’t going to say anything that hadn’t already been said.”
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