From England: United raise Smalling asking price

John Solano

The Express – Roma are upset that Manchester United have increased their asking price for former England central defender Chris Smalling. Smalling has been on loan in the Italian capital all season and has made a big impression with Roma wanting him to stay permanently.

They had been hoping to seal a deal for around £12 million, but United have now said that they want £17 million for the ex-Fulham man in a substantial price hike.

Smalling who has won 31 England caps wants to stay in Italy and Roma had hoped that they might be able to get United to reduce the fee.

Instead, they have been stunned to find out that Ed Woodward and co. have raised their asking price by £5 million and they are struggling to find the extra money.

Roma insist that they will only be able to turn the loan into a permanent arrangement if they qualify for next season’s Champions League. Smalling has made it clear that he wants to end his nine-year stay at Old Trafford after settling into Italian life.

The 30-year-old already agreed to keep his current deal, worth around £58,000 a week, to push the switch through rather than holding out for better terms.

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