CHRIS Smalling is on the verge of sealing an £18million switch from Manchester United to Roma.
United were demanding £20million for the defender, but are likely to accept the £18million fee plus bonuses, according to Sky Sports Italy.
The deal seemed to be going nowhere as the Italian outfit were only willing to fork out £15million, which United rejected.
Roma were keen to retain Smalling's services after his impressive year-loan stint with the club.
The 30-year-old revealed he was devastated to be leaving Roma and was willing to take a wage-cut to make the deal happen.
In an emotional post on his Instagram page, Smalling said: "I’m gutted that I can’t finish what we started this season."
He made 30 appearances in Serie A, and his stellar performances earned him the title "Smalldini", in reference to Italian legend Paolo Maldini.
Other Italian icons lined up to praise Smalling, with Franco Baresi saying: "I was not sure an English defender could get used to Italian football as it is so different to the Premier League. Smalling’s attitude and approach has been good."
Smalling was sent out on loan after falling down the pecking order at United, behind Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no objections to the move, as he plans to free up room in his squad for more new signings.
After splashing out on new midfield ace Donny van de Beek, United need to sell before making more signings as they aim to mount an assault for the title next season.
Although Smalling has his sights firmly set on Roma, if the deal does fall through Newcastle, Everton and West Ham are said to be interested in his signature.
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