Reports stemming from Italy today suggest that a pair of Premier League clubs have joined the race for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.
English international Smalling had spent the last 9 years of his career on the books of Premier League giants United.
However, on the back of Harry Maguire’s big-money arrival from Leicester City last summer, Smalling was deemed surplus to requirements by Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
As such, on the back of weeks of speculation, the 30-year-old departed Old Trafford for Serie A outfit AS Roma at the end of August.
Smalling made the move to the Stadio Olimpico on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.
And, after struggling for game-time over the early weeks of his stint in the Italian capital, Smalling has since gone on to establish himself as an integral member of the Giallorossi’s backline.
The stopper has notched starts in 19 of Roma’s 24 Serie A outings to this point in the campaign.
And, aside from a slight dip in form of late, Smalling has looked largely back to his absolute best.
The 30-year-old’s positive impression at the Stadio Olimpico thus far, meanwhile, has seen reports mount that the Roma board have already come to the decision to attempt to make his transfer a permanent one.
The reliable Gianluca Di Marzio previously revealed that Smalling has ‘convinced everyone’ at the club, and that the capital giants have begun ‘working towards redemption at the end of the season’.
Premier League return?
If the latest reports emerging from Italy today are to be believed, though, then Roma look set to face stiff competition for Smalling’s signature.
According to the Corriere dello Sport, a pair of Premier League clubs have entered the fray for the United stopper.
The outfits in question are Everton and Tottenham.
Roma’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Atalanta over the weekend proved a significant one, as it saw Paulo Fonseca’s men slip 6 points adrift of Serie A’s top-4.
If the Giallorossi fail to secure Champions League football for next season, they will likely not be able to afford to make Smalling’s signature permanent.
This, in turn, would allow other clubs to step forward for the Englishman, despite Smalling himself favouring a Roma stay.
And chief among the sides expected to do so, as outlined above, are Everton and Spurs.