Manchester United have reportedly rejected a bid of £8.5m from A.S. Roma for centre back Chris Smalling, with the club setting a £17m asking price for the England international.
Smalling was deemed to be surplus to requirements at Old Trafford during the summer and was sent on loan to the Italian capital, where he's made an immediate impression during his eight appearances for Roma.
The Giallorossi have since made a bid to sign Smalling for roughly £8.5m, but Sky Italia (via Sky Sports) claim that Manchester United have rejected it as they are looking to recoup double Roma's initial offer.
Smalling is still tied to a contract with Manchester United until 2022 but has lost his place at the club following the arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester City, while Victor Lindelöf, Eric Bailly, Marcus Rojo, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe also add competition for places at Old Trafford.
Injury problems at Roma has seen summer signing Gianluca Mancini moved into midfield this season, leaving Smalling to shine as the club's star centre back alongside either Juan Jesus or Mert Çetin.
The two-time Premier League winner has started Roma's last seven games in Serie A, with the club now unbeaten in the league in their last six, and Smalling even scored during their most recent away game against Udinese.
But it's at the other end of the pitch where Roma's top brass have been convinced to make a move for Smalling, with the defender producing a stunning goalline clearance against Napoli on Saturday as the Giallorossi picked up a 2-1 win over Carlo Ancelotti's side.
Roma are expected to come back in with another offer for Smalling as they look to secure his future before the January transfer window.
But the club will be reluctant to match United's asking price, especially as a £17m move would see Smalling become Roma's second most expensive defender ever - behind only Wálter Samuel at £18.7m.
For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!
Source : 90min