Chris Smalling thanks Roma fans for love as Paulo Fonseca vows to do all he can to keep him

Paulo Fonseca has reiterated his desire to keep Chris Smalling after the defender expressed his gratitude for his reception at Roma.

The English centre-back has been a smash hit with the Roma fans during his loan spell from Manchester United, putting in consistently excellent performances.

Roma may struggle to afford to keep Smalling permanently, but it appears there is a desire from both sides to find a way to continue together.

Smalling told Football Beyond Borders this week: “The love I have received since I arrived in Rome is crazy. So much love, so much affection, and I am sure that this makes you better on the pitch, like at United.

“It is fantastic to be here and to share the passion with them.”

While the 30-year-old has only hinted at his desire to stay so far, manager Paulo Fonseca insists that Smalling’s will for a permanent transfer is concrete.

Smalling has been a perfect fit for Fonseca’s tactics at the back, and it is understandable why they are so eager to continue working together.

Now, the Portuguese coach has once again vowed to do all in his power to ensure they get to do just that.

Fonseca told ESPN: “I will do anything to keep him at Roma again next year. I know he wants to stay and we will see what happens.

“He is an incredible person, so humble, so professional. He is adored by the fans and has established himself as one of the leaders in the dressing room.

“It is not easy for an English centre-back to adapt so quickly to Italian football. The precedents in this sense were not positive. Instead, he has been extraordinary.”

With that in mind, Roma will surely be exploring all possible options in their efforts to keep hold of Smalling.

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