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Storm brewing at Man Utd over failure to grant defender’s exit wish

Manchester United risk angering defender Chris Smalling after his list of options for a move away dwindled, according to a report.

Smalling spent last season on loan at Roma after learning he would get limited chances at Old Trafford. However the 30-year-old became a fan favourite in Italy, thoroughly enjoying his Serie A adventure.

As such, United have held lengthy talks with Roma about allowing the centre-back to return.

But while previous reports suggested a deal was close, Roma became frustrated and began to look elsewhere. Indeed, they have opted to bring in Hellas Verona’s Marash Kumbulla, who will sign an initial loan deal.

According to Corrierre dello Sport (via Sport Witness), Smalling feels “disappointed” at the outcome.

However, his feelings are compounded by the fact that a move elsewhere in the Premier League is, as it stands, off the cards.

Everton and West Ham are among four top-flight clubs reportedly keen to sign Smalling. The latest report adds, though, that the Englishman rejected those approaches in the belief he would complete his move to Roma.

Corrierre dello Sport claims Roma have a last-resort plan to salvage a deal. The Italian club plan to offload Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio, which will allow them to rekindle their interest.

So far, though, Paulo Fonseca’s side have found “no solution” on that front.


Meanwhile, previous reports have suggested that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not ruled out keeping Smalling in his team.

The Norwegian manager is keen to find a new long-term partner to Harry Maguire. Indeed, efforts to bring in defensive reinforcements have allegedly overtaken the club’s search for a winger.

In any case, Solskjaer was reportedly keen to give Smalling a chance in pre-season. It remains unclear, though, whether he will stay or go before the October transfer deadline.


Elsewhere, United are reportedly considering a move for Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira.

The 33-year-old midfielder is set to have his contract terminated at Juventus a year early.

He is not part of new boss Andrea Pirlo’s plans at the Allianz Stadium this season, according to a report in The Sun.

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