Arsenal have launched a bid to sign £25 million-rated Manchester United defender Chris Smalling who is currently on loan at Serie A giants AS Roma.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is looking for defensive reinforcements this summer, and Smalling has impressed during his loan spell at Roma.
The United defender has become a fans’ favourite, with his consistent displays helping the club into the last 16 of the Europa League and fifth place in Serie A.
According to Italian publication Corriere dello Sport, there has been talk of Smalling making the switch to Roma permanent – but United also have an offer on the table from Arsenal.
United want £25million for the 30-year-old – which has shocked Roma as they were hoping to land Smalling for around £20m, according to Metro.
As well as facing competition from Roma for Smalling, Arsenal will also be up against Tottenham, Leicester and Everton in the race for the rejuvenated defender’s services.
Arsenal have already signed young Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba, who is due to join the rest of the squad this summer.
But Arteta wants to add more experience to his defence, with Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Frankfurt’s Evan N’Dicka also on the radar.
United will reportedly allow Smalling to leave if they can secure the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.
Koulibaly has been a long-time target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, and is on the radar of other top clubs after winning last season’s Serie A best defender award.
Napoli’s £90million valuation has so far kept suitors at bay, but reports from Italy have suggested the 28-year-old could be tempted by a summer transfer.
And if United can seal a deal for the Senegal centre-half, Smalling will be set free.
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