Roma are stepping up their pursuit of the Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling and are expected to submit a second bid for the 30-year-old this week.
A first offer of £11m was rejected out of hand by United, who are hoping to bolster their transfer budget with at least £18m.
Smalling spent last season on loan at Roma and the Serie A side’s manager, Paulo Fonseca, said last weekend that he wanted the former England international in his squad for the 2020-21 campaign.
“We’re working to get Smalling here,” said the Portuguese after the match against Verona. “I’m in contact with him and I spoke to him yesterday. He wants to be here and we want him here. He could join us in the next few days.”
Smalling has not featured for United this season and was left out of the squad to face Luton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. “At the moment, we’ve not had any bids up to the level that we want,” the United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, said. “That [Smalling’s valuation] is not down to me, is it? I’m not the one negotiating between the clubs, but we haven’t had sufficient bids there and that’s it.