Il Tempo (Biafora) – Nothing to worry about: it’s a normal negotiation between two clubs. This is a summary of the thinking of Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi and his right-hand man Morgan De Sanctis after the pair learned Manchester United rejected their first bid to complete the permanent sale of Chris Smalling. Last week, Roma sent their first, initial proposal to the Red Devils to keep the Englishman at Trigoria.
The British club sent the initial offer back to sender and did not consider the €10 million proposal put forth by the Giallorossi. This wasn’t unexpected, Petrachi is aware that Manchester United value Smalling at €18-20 million. Roma’s sporting director is taking into consideration several factors – including the age of the defender as he turns 30 on 22 November – which is why his first proposal was half of the asking price.
Roma also has the will of Smalling in their back-pocket for the negotiations: the Englishman has already informed his agents he wants to remain in Italy and a contract with the Giallorossi is already being discussed (and would expire in 2024).
Smalling himself has made it clear in a recent interview that he has settled well in the Italian capital and wants to extend his stay, as he said, “I wanted to make my mark here and things are going better than expected. I settled very well and so has my family – if they’re happy, then I’m happy – and you can see it on the pitch. I miss United, but I’m happy for this new chapter”.