Chris Smalling Nearing Exit from Roma as Saudi Pro League Clubs Show Interest
Chris Smalling is reportedly on the verge of leaving Serie A club Roma, as clubs in the Saudi Pro League have expressed interest in signing him.
Smalling’s Impact at Roma
Since his move from Manchester United to Italy in August 2019, Smalling has been a key player in Roma’s defense.
Injury and Absence
However, Smalling has been dealing with tendonitis and has been sidelined for a significant portion of the season. He hasn’t played for Jose Mourinho’s side since their 2-1 loss to Milan in September.
The 33-year-old is not expected to return to full fitness until after Christmas. As a result, Roma may decide to sell the aging center-back when the transfer window reopens in the new year.
If Roma chooses to sell Smalling, there will be no shortage of interest. Several clubs in the Saudi Pro League have reportedly shown interest in signing the player.
Smalling recently signed a new contract with Roma that is set to expire in June 2025.
Interest in Other Roma Players
Reports also suggest that Saudi clubs are considering moves for Smalling’s Roma teammates Paulo Dybala and Leonardo Spinazzola.
Roma’s Season So Far
Roma currently sits seventh in Serie A, trailing league leaders Inter by 13 points. The team has only won one game in their last four across all competitions.
English Players in the Saudi Pro League
At present, Jordan Henderson, the former Liverpool captain, is the only English player in the Saudi Pro League. He joined Al-Ettifaq during the summer transfer window, where he is coached by his former teammate Steven Gerrard.
Other Transfer Rumors
Recent reports have linked the Saudi Pro League with a potential second attempt to sign England and Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho. The initial bid for Sancho in September was unsuccessful, but Saudi clubs hope to strike a deal in the new year.
Sancho has not played a league game since his public falling out with manager Erik ten Hag.
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