Chris Smalling 'could leave Roma in January amid Saudi interest'

Chris Smalling ‘could leave Roma in January amid Saudi interest’ with Serie A side open to offers for former Manchester United defender

  • Chris Smalling has attracted interest from Saudi clubs 
  • The 33-year-old has been sidelined with injury since September 
  • Everton players will be fed up with the owners – listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

Chris Smalling’s Serie A adventure could be coming to an end amid interest from clubs in Saudi Arabia.

According to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma would consider offers for the former Manchester United defender in the January transfer window.

Smalling joined the Giallorossi in 2019 and developed into a mainstay of Roma’s defence winning the 2022 Europa Conference League and signing a two-year extension through to June 2025 last summer.

The 33-year-old, however, has been sidelined with tendonitis in his knee for the past three months and has lost his place in the team as a result.

Smalling has made just three appearances this season and hasn’t played since Roma’s 2-1 defeat to AC Milan on September 1.

Chris Smalling could be leaving Roma in January amid interest from Saudi clubs

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In October, Smalling flew back to London to have his knee assessed by Andy Williams, a renowned orthopedic who has worked with Premier League clubs.

But the former United defender remains sidelined and has already missed 13 games this season and no date has been set for his return as yet.

Injuries have been a recurring theme of Smalling’s spell in Serie A. He missed 27 matches in all competitions in the 2020-21 season and was out for 14 games in the following campaign. 

And according to Gazzetta, the former England international could be joined in Saudi Arabia by teammates Leonardo Spinazzola and Paulo Dybala.

The former is out of contract at the end of the season and was already on the radar of Saudi clubs back in the summer, while the latter’s £10million release clause may not be enough to put off potential suitors.

Dybala joined Roma from Juventus at the beginning of last season and scored 18 goals in 38 games in his debut campaign in the Eternal City, but has scored just twice so far this term.

Eight Serie A players made the switch to the Saudi Pro League this summer, with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic joining Al-Hilal from Lazio in a £37m deal and Raphael Ibanez joined Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr after joining from Atalanta for £26m.

Paulo Dybala (left) and Leonardo Spinazzola (right) have also been linked with Saudi clubs

Jose Mourinho’s Roma are seventh in Serie A, 13 points behind Inter Milan 

Meanwhile, according to TuttomercatoWeb, Tottenham are keeping tabs on Roma midfielder Bryan Cristante.

The Italian international has been ever-present for the Giallorossi this season and could cost Spurs around £25m.

Roma are seventh in Serie A with 18 points after 12 games and trail league leaders Inter Milan by 13 points, but are only three points behind fourth-placed Napoli.

Jose Mourinho’s side are on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League, as they currently sit second in Group G behind Slavia Praha on goal difference.

Both sides have nine points after four games, with Servette third on four points and Sheriff Tiraspol bottom of the group with just one point. 


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