Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has insisted he will do all in his power to sign on-loan Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.
The English star, 30, has spent the season in Serie A and impressed with his performances in the Italian capital.
With Harry Maguire moving to Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to ship out one of his many central defenders and it was Smalling who got the chop last August.
His international hopes had been publicly dashed by Gareth Southgate but even he has been moved to march on Rome to check out his return to form.
Several legendary Serie A stars have commended how he taken to a notoriously tricky league for English players.
And current Roma boss Fonseca now wants to land Smalling on a permanent deal when football gets back to business.
“I will do everything I can to keep him at Roma next year too,” he told ESPN. “I know he wants to stay, let’s see what happens.
“He’s an amazing man, so humble, so professional. He is adored by the fans and established himself as one of the leaders in the dressing room.
“It’s not easy for English central defenders to adapt so quickly to Italian football, the record there isn’t good. But he has been amazing.”
What Italian legends say about Smalling…
Franco Baresi – “I was not sure an English defender could get used to Italian football as it is so different to the Premier League. Smalling’s attitude and approach has been good.”
Giuseppe Bergomi – “He and Roma team-mate Gianluca Mancini are the best couple of central defenders in Serie A.”
Benito Carbone – “During games, he shows real personality and, in a demanding place like Roma, this is very important. Serie A is lucky to have a player like him.”
Fulvio Collovati – “He marks his opponents well, he can move the ball well, is good in the air and sometimes he scores. What more can you ask from a defender?
“I must admit, I didn’t know much about him until this season but I am impressed. I believe United have made a mistake by allowing him to be here.”