Roma and Manchester United are in talks about making Chris Smalling's move to the Italian capital a permanent one.
The English defender swapped Old Trafford for the Stadio Olympico in the summer on a season-long loan, but Roma boss Paulo Fonseca wants to see Smalling stay long-term.
His performances have been impressive and he has undergone something of a renaissance after falling down the pecking order at United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer let a host of players leave in the summer and Roma are looking to take advantage of his overhaul as they discuss making Smalling's switch permanent.
“I would like Chris to stay. We are speaking,” Fonseca told Sky Sports.
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“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.”
Smalling has been a regular in a defence that also includes former Manchester City man Aleksandar Kolarov as Roma target the Champions League.
They are also in with a shout of the Europa League trophy and hold an advantage over Belgian side Gent heading to the second-leg next week.
Smalling is one of three Premier League stars enjoying the campaign in the Italian capital – the other two being Chelsea's Davide Zappacosta and Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
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The Armenian international struggled for consistency while in England and, despite having his season ravaged by injuries, could be set for a prolonged stay in Italy.
"Mkhi during this season got some injuries but he is returning now and he is proving his quality," Fonseca added.
"Let's see. He is a player with great decisions on the pitch and I would also like to keep Mkhi in our team."
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