Solskjaer explains Smalling’s Man Utd situation with Roma failing to meet asking price


The England international was a hit in the Italian capital last season but will remain a Red Devil unless the financial offer is upped

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained Chris Smalling is still at the Premier League club because his asking price has not been met.

Smalling was left out of the United squad that beat Luton Town 3-0 in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old defender impressed on loan at Roma last season and the Serie A outfit are understood to want to sign Smalling on a permanent deal, although United are reportedly holding out for an £18 million (€20m/$24m) fee.

“At the moment, we’ve not had any bids up to the level that we want,” Solskjaer said after the game at Kenilworth Road. “So that’s the situation.

“That [Smalling’s valuation] is not down to me, is it? I’m not the one negotiating between the clubs, but we haven’t had sufficient bids there and that’s it.”

Roma have made no secret of the fact that they would welcome Smalling back onto their books.

United allowed the central defender to move on initially because he had started to slip down their defensive pecking order.

That situation is unlikely to have changed, amid calls for Solskjaer to further bolster his ranks, and Roma boss Paulo Fonseca hopes an agreement can be reached before the next deadline passes.

“I am in regular contact with Chris Smalling, I spoke to him yesterday,” Fonseca told reporters.

“He wants to come back to Roma and we want to have him back. I think that there could be an update over the next few days.”

United led on the stroke of half-time through a Juan Mata penalty but were largely lacklustre and needed an excellent save from debutant goalkeeper Dean Henderson before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood made the game safe.

Luton, like United, were much-changed and Solskjaer paid tribute to Nathan Jones’ side.

“You can see we need match-time,” he said, having watched his first-choice United side lose their Premier League opener 3-1 against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

“These players need match-time for sharpness. Levels in English football are getting better, that’s their cup team as well, it’s not the league team.

“The standard is high in Championship and they did well. They made us work hard to go through, but there were some positives as well.

“I liked the last couple of goals when the ball goes quickly forward, we drive at them. Nice finishes as well.”


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