Two sources claim Everton have expressed an interest in former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling after his Roma dream became something of a nightmare.
Smalling sealed a permanent move to Roma on deadline day in October 2020 after thoroughly impressing on loan the previous season. His career was stagnating in Manchester, but the move to Italy gave him a new lease of life. The club from the capital were happy to capitalise and it made sense for them to make the move permanent.
However, things have not gone to plan since then. Smalling did not perform too badly in 2020-21, but injuries meant it was a stop-start campaign. It proved very frustrating for all parties concerned after the contrast of the previous year.
Since the season came to a close, Smalling’s future has already been called into question. The imminent arrival of Jose Mourinho, his former Man Utd boss, at Roma has led to some doubts over whether Smalling will be as happy to stay there.
He previously had some misunderstandings with Mourinho at Old Trafford and the ex-Tottenham boss wants to sign a new defender when he takes his new job.
That means one of their current options may have to make way and it looks like that candidate could be Smalling. In that case, a Premier League return could be on the cards.
LaRoma24 revealed on Tuesday that Everton were ready to make a proposal to the 31-year-old. They claimed Smalling is not desperate to leave Roma, but would prefer a Premier League move compared to other potential destinations.
It seems he may get his wish, as Sky Sport Italia have followed that news up with their own update. They suggest that Everton have made enquiries for the 31-cap England international, who last played for his country in 2017.
Smalling a long-term Toffees target
Everton previously tried to sign Smalling in the same summer he joined Roma. During August 2019, they submitted a loan offer, but Man Utd turned it down.
United then seemed to have a change of heart and sent Smalling to Serie A on temporary terms which later became permanent.
Now, Everton could try their luck again in an effort to strengthen their defence for their new manager. It is not yet clear who will replace Carlo Ancelotti, but whoever takes the job will want to be reassured over their options.
Smalling would add experience to their rear-guard. If he can shake off his injury issues – which may simply have arisen from not having a proper pre-season last year – then he could be a smart addition.
Roma would need at least €15m to consider selling the player, whom they have under contract until 2023.
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