Smalling ‘digging his heels in’ as Solskjaer makes Man Utd decision

Chris Smalling is intent on rejoining Roma on loan from Manchester United next season and is willing to push for the deal, according to reports from Italy.

The 30-year-old impressed during a season-long loan at Stadio Olimpico last captain, making 37 appearances across all competitions and scoring three times.

Smalling has made no secret of his wish to return to the Italian capital for the coming season, but Roma have so far been unable to meet United's £20million asking price for the former England man.

And in the meantime, Serie A rivals Inter Milan and Premier League side Newcastle have emerged as suitors for the defender.

But Roma remain set on landing their target and have sent chief executive Guido Fienga to the UK for negotiations, according to La Gazetta dello Sport.

The report adds the Giallorossi hope they can secure Smalling's services on a paid loan which, crucially, has an option to buy. Club chiefs are also understood to be hopeful a deal "can be closed".

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Smalling remains as intent as ever on returning to Stadio Olimpico and is ready to "dig his heels in" to ensure the move goes through.

Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport claims Fienga has told Ryan Friedkin, son of new Roma owner Dan Friedkin, that Smalling is one of his priority transfer targets this summer.

Smalling admitted he was "gutted" to return to United before the conclusion of Roma's Europa League campaign earlier this month.

"I'm gutted that I can't finish what we started this season," Smalling wrote on Twitter. "To experience the love shown to me in such a short time was extra special and it will not be forgotten.

"I want to thank and wish all the players and staff the best of luck against Sevilla."

The Giallorossi were beaten 2-0 by Sevilla in the last 16, while the Spaniards went on to reach Friday's final with victories over Premier League duo Wolves and United.

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