EPL

Roma want to sign Man Utd defender Smalling and Arsenal's Mkhitaryan permanently

By Sports Desk February 24, 2020

Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca said the Serie A side want to sign loanees Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan permanently.

Smalling and Mkhitaryan are on season-long loan deals from Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.

United centre-back Smalling has impressed for Roma, who are determined to make the England international's deal a permanent one in the Italian capital.

"Chris is a great, great man, a great, great professional," Fonseca told Sky Sports News.

"The adaptation [to Italian football] was very easy for him. He's a boy that everyone loves in the club because he is a great professional.

"I would like Chris to stay. We are speaking. I don't know if it is possible because of the situation with Manchester United, but I would like so much for Chris to stay here with us because he is very important.

"He is a great player, a great man with a great attitude every day and for all of these reasons I would be very happy if Chris stays."

Mkhitaryan, a former United team-mate of Smalling, has experienced an injury-interrupted spell with Roma.

However, the attacking midfielder has still managed five Serie A goals and a pair of assists after scoring and creating another in the 4-0 rout of Lecce on Sunday.

"Mkhi during this season got some injuries but he is returning now and he is proving his quality," Fonseca said.

"Let's see. He is a player with great decisions on the pitch and I would also like to keep Mkhi in our team."

Roma are fifth in the Serie A standings, three points adrift of Atalanta, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.

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