Manchester United are reportedly not willing to negotiate over their £25m valuation of Chris Smalling amid interest from Roma in making the defender’s loan deal permanent.
The 30-year-old centre back joined the Serie A side on a season-long loan last summer after falling down the pecking order at United and he has impressed in Italy, making 20 appearances in all competitions and helping his side to fourth place in the table.
As a result Roma are said to wish to make the deal a permanent one, but according to the Sun their offer of £13m plus £3.5m in add-ons is not acceptable for United, who believe his performances this season justify a higher transfer fee.
It remains to be seen whether Smalling eventually returns to Old Trafford or not, but their former player Rio Ferdinand recently criticised the decision by United to let him leave, especially given their struggles at the back this season.
“He’s the best defender at the club,” Ferdinand said. “If we’re talking just outright defending, he’s the best defender at the club. I don’t understand it.
Speaking about his move abroad last year Smalling appeared happy in the Italian capital, and admitted the pace of the football compared to the Premier League worked to his advantage.
“I’m really enjoying Italian football and I think it does suit my game,” he told Forbes . “Hopefully come May I can say I’ve had a good season, the team’s had a good season and it’s been a great success.
“There aren’t too many English players that venture abroad. You are starting to see younger players going abroad on loan and having great success, but I think it’s a shame that more people aren’t venturing out.