Paulo Fonseca has made no secret his desire to bring Chris Smalling back to the fold. Manchester United has made no secret their desire to land €20 million for the 30-year-old defender. And while AS Roma and Manchester United have been working on this deal for almost six months, and have seemingly come close multiple times since March, United haven't backed down from their €20 million demand. You have to admire their resolution in these negotiations, and really Roma's dogged pursuit of Smalling, but at some point you just have to move on; no one is winning in this scenario, particularly not Smalling.
No one is suggesting the deal is dead, but if you read the tea leaves, Roma may be looking at alternate options, while Smalling may have legitimate offers coming from other clubs in Italy, Inter Milan in particular.
One name that may or may not be on Roma's wish list is none other than Antonio Rüdiger, who spent two years patrolling Roma's backline, including the clubs record setting 2016-2017 campaign. Whether he was an FFP victim or not, Rüdiger was one of many incredibly talented players sold by Roma in the late 2010s, moving to Chelsea on a €35 million move in the summer of 2017.