Roma to make first steps towards permanent signing of Smalling

Roma are set to open negotiations over the permanent signing of Chris Smalling, according to widespread reports.

The English centre-back has made an extremely positive first impression since sealing a season-long loan move from Manchester United, being a man of the match candidate in each of the five games he has played so far.

Roma have kept two clean sheets since Smalling came into the side, with the 29-year-old already firmly established as the strongest defender at the club.

With his loan costing €3m but including no option to buy, it has now been reported by Gianluca Di Marzio that Roma are set to resume talks with Man Utd in the coming weeks to negotiate a price for a permanent signing.

Corriere Dello Sport journalist Jacopo Aliprandi reported that Smalling’s agent was present at Trigoria on Friday, sowing the seeds for talk of a transfer.

  

Smalling was at the centre of a controversy on Thursday, being penalised for a ‘hand ball’ which led to Borussia Monchengladbach equalising from the penalty spot in the 1-1 Europa League draw – despite replays clearly showing the ball hit his head, and the referee publicly admitting his error via Roma’s social media channels.

After the game, Smalling voiced his disbelief at the decision via Twitter, following up with his first ever declaration of ‘Daje Roma’.

  

The news comes as another English player – former Blackburn midfielder Jack Rodwell – underwent a trial with the club, with a view to signing as a free agent. The club will choose between him and ex-Empoli man Marcel Buchel, with the selected man being given a contract until the end of the season.

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