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Manchester United 'willing to let Chris Smalling leave if they sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli'

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Manchester United 'willing to let Chris Smalling leave for Roma on permanent deal if they sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli as replacement'Chris Smalling has been playing on loan with AS Roma from Manchester UnitedUnited are reportedly ready to let him leave 'if they can sign Kalidou Koulibaly' Koulibaly, 28, is a star at Napoli and has long been a target for English clubs 

Manchester United are reportedly ready to allow Chris Smalling to make his loan to Roma permanent, provided they can sign Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly.  

Smalling has had a renaissance since swapping England for Italy this season and Roma are believed to be keen on keeping him at the club beyond June, when his loan deal at the club expires. 

La Gazzetta dello Sport report that their hopes of that happening rest on whether United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can entice Koulibaly to Old Trafford.  

Chris Smalling (left) may need a Serie A rival to depart to Old Trafford for him to stay at Roma

United are credited with interest in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly to replace Smalling

Koulibaly, 28, has frequently been linked with moves to the Premier League in recent seasons but has continued to show loyalty in Naples. 

Teams have been put off by Napoli's £90million valuation but given the unrest at the club earlier this season - players and owner Aurelio de Laurentiis were involved in a civil war over a refusal to go to a training ground retreat - he may be sold to generate funds. 

He would arrive as a partner for Harry Maguire, who has established himself as United captain since arriving from Leicester City for a record £80m last summer, and would fill the void left by Smalling.   

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to improve the side as he aims to put them in title contention

Solskjaer currently has Maguire, Victor Lindelof,  Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe as centre back options, with both Smalling and Marcos Rojo out on loan. 

Rojo is likely to depart as part of a further shake-up by Solskjaer and there remains question marks over both Jones and Bailly, the latter mainly surrounding his fitness. 

Maguire and Lindelof have been the preferred pairing of late but a move for Koulibaly would represent a statement signing from United as they aim to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League.

Smalling is yet to make a decision on his long-term future but is said to have settled with his wife Samantha in the Italian capital.

He has remained in Rome during the coronavirus lockdown and hopes to finish the campaign on a high once it resumes. Roma, like United, made the last 16 of the Europa League and stand fifth in the Serie A table.

Smalling has impressed in Italy and is said to have settled to life in the Italian capital of Rome




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