Soccer

Juventus prepare Chris Smalling transfer offer as defender returns to Man Utd

Juventus are looking to sign Manchester United's Chris Smalling and are willing to offer Federico Bernardeschi in a swap deal.

The defender has spent the last year in Italy with Roma where he impressed but is poised to return to Old Trafford.

The Italian side are keen to keep the 30-year-old on a permanent basis but have been unable to agree a fee with United which could open the door for Juventus.

Smalling is due back in England this week after Roma were unable to extend his loan to allow him to take part in their Europa League campaign.

But the Serie A champions are now ready to make United an offer claims Calciomercato and hope to drive down the asking price by including Bernardeschi.

United are in the market for a forward with their sights set on Jadon Sancho despite his £100m asking price.

Should they fail to land him the 26-year-old may be seen as a credible alternative as it would also allow Mason Greenwood to continue his development.

Juventus have a host of quality defenders but several of them are nearing the twilight years of their career.

Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are both well into their 30s and the Bianconeri have already begun looking to the next generation having signed Matthijs de Ligt last summer.

Smalling could further bolster one of Europe's toughest defences should he be tempted by a move to Turin.

The Englishman has received rave reviews from Roma boss Paulo Fonseca who claims the defender wants to remain in Italy.

"I will do everything I can to keep him at Roma next year too," he said back in May. "I know he wants to stay, let's see what happens.

"He's an amazing man, so humble, so professional. He is adored by the fans and established himself as one of the leaders in the dressing room.

"It's not easy for English central defenders to adapt so quickly to Italian football, the record there isn't good. But he has been amazing."

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