With The Guardian reporting Roma are eager to sign Chris Smalling on a permanent deal, Manchester United should be utilising the option of using the centre-back in a potential swap deal.

The 30-year-old has adapted to life in Italy with ease and has already become a key part of Roma’s backline.

Having struggled for game time at Old Trafford, Smalling has quickly become a fan favourite at the Stadio Olimpico, playing in eight Serie A games and two Europa League matches so far.

United are in a strong position to command a hefty fee from the Italian giants due to the fact he is on a long-term contract.

Should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer be asking Ed Woodward to use Roma’s interest in Smalling as a bargaining tool to poach one of Paulo Fonseca’s star men?

Here are five Roma players that United should consider in a potential Smalling transfer deal…

Gianluca Mancini

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The Italian centre-back is being deployed as a defensive midfielder due to the club’s injury crisis, but it as a role that he is thriving in.

The 23-year-old who stands at 6ft 4 is a physically imposing player who is capable of playing with both feet and keeps things simple.

Among his strengths is his excellent heading ability, which makes him a threat from set pieces, something that the current United side are severely lacking. Last season he scored six goals.

Mancini is on loan from Atalanta, but Roma have an obligation to buy at the end of the season.

After being given his senior international debut by Roberto Mancini and featuring three times in the European qualifying campaign, Gianluca will be targeting a place in the Azzurri Euro 2020 squad.

Lorenzo Pellegrini

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Pellegrini played Roma’s opening six matches of the Serie A season before being sidelined with a metatarsal fracture in early October.

The 23-year-old was at his influential best in those 6 games, producing 4 assists and showing United what he could bring to the team with his creativity.

He is currently averaging 1.8 shots, 3.3 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per game

Pellegrini has the versatility to play in a holding or attacking midfield role, but the Italian international wouldn’t come cheaply, he is one of Roma’s prized assets.

His marauding runs from deep show his ability to be a perfect box-to-box midfielder, but United would face stiff competition to secure his signature.

Edin Dzeko

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The former Manchester City striker, who had a knack for scoring crucial goals during the Blues’ title run ins would certainly add a physical presence and experience to a youthful United forward line.

ESPN’s Mark Ogden reports United want to add a veteran striker on a short term deal to add depth up front and the Bosnian is an option.


For Roma in 2019/20, Dzeko has scored six goals in 15 games, but he is out of form, with just one in his last 10 for club and country.

At the age of 33, Dzeko would be nothing more than a short term signing to provide cover for Anthony Martial, but he does have goalscoring pedigree in the Premier League.

However, it seems highly unlikely that Solskjaer will steer away from the profile of player he wants to bring to Old Trafford.

The reports linking United with Bosnia’s all-time record scorer with more than 50 goals were met with a mixed response.

Nico Zaniolo

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The 20-year-old is one of the most promising talents in world football and he would certainly bolster United’s ability to carve out clear goalscoring chances.

Zaniolo can play through the middle or on the right wing, and has scored three goals for Roma in Serie A so far this season.

But it is in the Europa League where the former Inter Milan youngster is producing his best form.

In four appearances he has scored two goals and made 2 assists, but he is currently averaging 2.3 shots, 2 key passes and 4.3 dribbles per game.

After signing a new deal in August, it would take a hefty transfer sum to convince Roma to part ways with their Italian sensation.

An impressive Euro 2020 tournament would only add to his soaring market value.

He enhanced his reputation further by scoring his goal for the senior Italy side, which was quickly followed by his second in the 9-1 rout against Armenia.

Manchester United should be doing all they can to build a positive relationship with Roma to try and gain preferable treatment when it comes to Zaniolo deciding on his next destination when he wants to embark on a new challenge.

Justin Kluivert

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Solskjaer is eager to build a young talented side and with Tahith Chong’s future remaining unresolved, the Norwegian would relish working with Chong’s compatriot Justin Kluivert.

Son of the legendary Patrick, the 20-year-old has become a key part of the Roma side and has already chipped in with two Serie A goals.

He can play on either wing and possesses a low centre of gravity, which allows him to turn defenders inside out with his mazy dribbling skills.

Kluivert Jnr has blistering pace alongside a deadly combination of agility and balance, which allows him to create space and hurt teams.

He may only be 5ft 6, but Kluivert isn’t fazed by the physical challenge and he would add to a United attack, which is full of youthful exuberance.

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