Arsenal keep a close eye on €20m-rated England international

Chris Smalling will reportedly return to Man United this summer after a permanent move to Roma fell through, although his future likely lies elsewhere with the likes of Gunners keen on signing him. England international has become a popular figure in Serie A after an excellent campaign on loan at Stadio Olimpico.

But the covid crisis has forced them to reconsider their summer transfer plans, and a deal for Chris may prove out of their price range, with the club facing financial difficulties. As a result, Smalling is expected to come back to Man United in the summer.

A source said: ‘We know Smalling would love to stay and it is a deal which suits all parties at the end of the campaign. The financial reality, however, is very different. The people at Giallorossi have many new things to consider. Ole had to make a quick decision call to send Chris out on loan last summer because Rojo’s move to Everton collapsed at a late stage.

‘The manager wasn’t surprised how well Chris has performed at Roma and does remain a fan of his.’ Giallorossi had the first option to add the Englishman, but Red Devils are still keen to get his £100,000-a-week wages off the books.  Gunners are long-term admirers of the centre-half, and it’s been rumoured they have made an offer to sign him.

Arsenal signed several footballers during the summer transfer window like Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano, Nicolas Pepe from Lille, David Luiz from Chelsea, Kieran Tierney from Celtic and William Saliba from Saint-Etienne. The London giants also added Pablo Mari from Flamengo and Cedric Soares from Southampton in January.