Chris Smalling is arguably having a better season than much of his former teammates at Manchester United. The English centre-back has been excellent during his loan spell at AS Roma, with mind-boggling statistics to back his return to peak form.
The Serie A side is currently in the fifth-place domestically and making large strides to the top four positions, with performances like the one Smalling has delivered making up the bulk of their progress.
In fact, such has been the defender’s impact that Roma are keen on making him a permanent signing.
Now, the negotiations to do so may yield a promising benefit for Manchester United.
As per Calciomercato, Manchester United are serious in acquiring rising Roma star Nicolò Zaniolo. The report also mentions that the Chris Smalling saga could affect the club’s dealings.
The report specifies that the Red Devils sent observers for the 20-year-old Italian during the recent international break and are willing to pay up to €60 million to acquire his full services.
Separate claims have mentioned that the Smalling aspect could be more of a rapport building exercise to give them the first option on Zaniolo and that a future deal was more likely.
As a midfielder, the youngster has shown remarkable presence with his attacking prowess and could benefit Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and company who are struggling immensely in the region.
However, it is unclear just how much substance exists in this claim as it could easily be an add-on to the Smalling saga that seems likely to be stretched until next summer.
Solskjaer, if he is still entrusted with the Old Trafford gig seems likely to invest more in young and upcoming British talent. A deviation from that rule would entail a superstar elsewhere in Europe. At the moment, Zaniolo does not appear to entirely meet this criterion.