Roma close to pulling plug on Smalling deal as Man Utd play hardball

Roma are reportedly considering ending their pursuit of Chris Smalling and searching for other options as they grow increasingly frustrated with Manchester United's negotiations.

The 30-year-old defender spent last season on loan at Roma and impressed in Serie A, making 30 appearances in the division and helping his side to a fifth placed finish.

He has now returned to his parent club but is keen on a permanent switch to Italy, and allegedly sat out of United's photoshoots for TV on Monday.

It is also believed both he and Marcos Rojo are being made to train in their own 'bubble' away from the rest of the United first-team squad, even arriving at and then leaving the Carrington training complex early in the mornings before the rest of the players turn up.

However, according to the Daily Mail Roma are ready to walk away from talks about Smalling after failing to agree a fee with United.

United are said to be holding out for £20m, which is some way higher than Roma are willing to pay, and unless things change soon they will consider other targets.

They are known to be prioritising a centre-back, and with the Serie A season set to start on Saturday they are desperate to strengthen sooner rather than later.

It would come as a big blow to Smalling if a move is not agreed, with the former England international seemingly having no place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans.

Likewise, United would surely welcome the money as they look to continue to make moves ahead of their first game in the Premier League against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

They are still being linked with the likes of Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, although time is running out for a transfer to happen before the window shuts next month.

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