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Prospective owners of Euro giants could prioritise permanent deal for Man Utd loanee

Prospective new Roma owners the Friedkin Group could reportedly put signing Chris Smalling and Dries Mertens at the top of their priority list this summer.

The Giallorossi are currently chasing a top-four finish in Serie A this season as they hope to secure Champions League qualification for next year.

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A key part in that push so far has been Smalling, who joined from Man Utd on a season-long loan deal last summer.

The 30-year-old has impressed for the capital club as he has made 22 appearances in total and with Roma conceding just 27 goals in 22 league games to date which gives them the fourth best defensive record of the top eight sides in the standings, the England international has been vital.

So much so even Roma chief Gianluca Petrachi waxed lyrical about him last week, as he revealed that he hopes that they will be able to sign him permanently, as per the Daily Mail.

Now, according to Calciomercato, via the paper edition of Leggo, it’s suggested that as the Friedkin Group look to complete their takeover by the end of February, the permanent signing of Smalling and the acquisition of Napoli forward Dries Mertens could be at the top of their to-do list.

It’s suggested it’s part of their strategy to make an immediate positive impression on the Roma fans, and so taking Smalling to the Stadio Olimpico on a permanent basis would seemingly be a popular decision across the board in Rome.

Time will tell if they are able to reach an agreement with Man Utd over a transfer though, although with the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly to contend with back in Manchester, Smalling could prefer an extended stay with Roma given how he has established himself in a prominent role for the Italian giants.

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