Roma manager, Paulo Fonseca, has lavished praise on Chris Smalling and confirmed that he would like the centre-half to join the Serie A giants permanently at the end of the season.
A few eyebrows may have been raised last summer when the Manchester United man decided to join Roma on a season-long loan.
However, his terrific performances this campaign have not only vindicated such a decision, but it has also reportedly made him a wanted man across Europe.
Tottenham are one of the clubs who have been tipped to move for the defender in the summer (Corriere Dello Sport via The Express) with Jose Mourinho reportedly keen on reuniting with the centre-back he managed at Old Trafford.
Italian newspaper Leggo reported last month that Spurs have already ‘taken a few steps’ to bring the 30-year-old to North London in the summer.
However, it looks as if the Lilywhites will have to compete with Roma if they wish to sign the Manchester United defender, after Fonseca revealed that he wants to keep the defender at the Stadio Olimpico.
Speaking about Smalling, the Roma boss told A Bola (as relayed by Football.London): “He surprised me. He’s a defender that had never left England and he arrived in a league very demanding of tactics, where details make the difference.
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“Chris adapted very quickly. He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent. He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre.
“He’s a defender that had never left England and he arrived in a league very demanding of tactics, where details make the difference.
“Chris adapted very quickly. He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent. He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre.”
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Smalling has certainly proved many of his doubters wrong with his performances this season but I am still not convinced that he is the answer to our problems at the back. It is apparent from how the likes of Federico Fazio and Vlad Chiriches got on at Spurs that the Premier League is a completely different ball-game for defenders compared to the Serie A.