Roma and Manchester United have been locked in negotiations over Chris Smalling for much of the transfer window.

The Daily Mail report that Smalling is so intent on leaving that he didn’t take part in United’s photoshoot for television coverage for the season ahead.

There were some fears that the deal had stalled, as Sky Sport Italia reported the impending arrival Marash Kumbulla in the Italian capital.

Juventus v Hellas Verona - Serie A
(Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

That same report says that the deal for Kumbulla doesn’t impact on Smalling’s potential arrival at Roma.

They say Kumbulla is set to come in on loan, with an obligation to buy afterwards for 30 million euros (£27.8 million).

That means it shouldn’t have much of an impact on the money the Europa League side can spend to bring Smalling in from Old Trafford.


There’s no need for panic, although it would be good if United were more adept at selling unwanted players.

Manchester United Training Session
(Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Smalling wants to go to the extent he won’t even pose in the club kit just in case there’s a hitch over his exit.

Of course United don’t want to be a soft touch in the transfer market, but they come across as dithering when they can’t even conclude an exit deal like this.

Smalling wants to go, there’s a buyer and the difference in valuations can only be small-fry for a club of United’s proportions.

They should get the deal done and avoid potential complications. It doesn’t look like Kumbulla’s arrival represents one now, but it could have done and United would have been back at square one with Smalling.

One of the world’s biggest football clubs should be far better at shedding its deadwood than this.

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