Defender Chris Smalling says he is open to extending his stay at AS Roma, amid supposed interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.
The Manchester United star has been enjoying a renaissance over in Serie A this season, and has become one of Paulo Fonseca’s key players at Stadio Olimpico.
Smalling lost his way a little in the 2018/19 season, and departed Old Trafford on loan in the hope of rediscovering his mojo.
The 31-year-old has certainly done that, and his levels of performance have apparently led to interest back in England.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Spurs and Everton are both monitoring Smalling, but the Premier League outfits appear to have fallen behind in the race for the player following new comments from the player.
Asked if he wanted to stay by BBC Sport, Smalling said: “Yeah, I think the plan at the start of the season was to contribute as much as I can and then hopefully if we’ve all had a good season and hit our ambitions then those discussions can take place.”
The player also explained that his family are settled in Rome, which could be another big factor in him staying put.
TBR’s view – Tottenham and Everton facing Smalling failure
It sounds as though Smalling – who earns £70,000-a-week back at United (Spotrac) – is keen to stay where he is.
It is surely in Manchester United’s best interests to keep the player abroad rather than sell to another Premier League side, if they aren’t planning on keeping him themselves.
Given the player is reportedly valued around £16.5 million by United, it’ll be a missed opportunity for Spurs and Everton, who both have need to reinforce at the back at the moment, with Jan Vertonghen likely to leave Tottenham in the summer and Carlo Ancelotti only having three senior centre-halves.