Juventus and Inter ‘battling to sign Smalling. Chris Smalling is of interest to Italian giants Juventus and Inter Milan with the defender’s contract at Roma due to expire at the end of this season, it has been reported.
The former England international has been a revelation for Jose Mourinho’s side, who went into the World Cup break sitting seventh in Serie A – just six points off AC Milan in second in a highly congested top half.
Jose Mourinho values Smalling as one of his true lieutenants and wishes to keep hold of the player. However, the interest of Juventus and Inter Milan carries with it a risk Roma could lose the player for nothing next year.
According to Sky Sports in Italy, Smalling is considering his options amid the interest from the two northern clubs. Juventus, amid a crisis at the club in which the board was forced to resign over allegations of doctoring wages and inflating player values, will enter the market in a less aggressive way from now on and will exhibit more prudent policies – this is likely to include utilising the free transfer market.
However, according to Repubblica, Mourinho has instructed Roma to please the Englishman to ensure he extends his stay in the Italian capital. Smalling is said to be settled in Rome, accompanied by his whole family, and though he was the victim of a robbery several months ago, he has recovered from that trauma.
He would like to continue with Mourinho in Rome, though it has been suggested by Tuttosport that there could be some wrangling to do over the economic conditions of his contract.
Smalling’s current contract reportedly has an appearance clause – activated after he’s appeared in 50 per cent of all of this season’s fixtures – that would see it automatically renewed until next season. This, however, would be for a salary lower than that of his current one: which is around £3m per annum.
The former Manchester United defender would like to sign a contract worth more than £3.5m for two years, though this is something that is reportedly not appreciated by the Friedkin family – the owners of the club. According to Tuttosport, they need to increase their offer to match those of their rivals.
He is 33-years-old and there will seemingly be question marks over his viability as a top level centre-back for much longer.
In addition to Juventus, Inter are also interested in the player. According to the Tuttosport Smalling has received offers from Inter through his agent.
The club are not 100 per cent satisfied with Francesco Acerbi’s performance and would like to bring the experienced English defender to Milan. The Nerazzurri would like to try and repeat what they did with Henrikh Mkhitaryan last summer, buying the English defender without spending a single cent (on his transfer fee).
The battle on the market will be intense but Smalling’s preference is to remain in Rome.
Juventus and Inter ‘battling to sign Smalling