With the Premier League tying up, fans and coaches are turning their attention to the transfer markets. Following a relatively successful season for Manchester United are, naturally, keen to cut any losses they have from Liverpool claiming the league title. Of course, that may well mean making a few changes to the first team, and on even the bench.
United fans will already be well aware that there is a story unfolding regarding Chris Smalling. The centre back, who’s been playing at Roma on loan for 2019/20, could be making a surprise return to Old Trafford. However, that comes under some pretty awkward circumstances.
Will fans be able to place bets on Smalling coming back to the team through bookmakers such as STS? Now is the time to start taking a look around the sportsbooks.
What’s Ole’s Plan?
Reports suggest that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to get a talented centre-back in place for next season. However, looking at the preliminary markets, it may well be slim pickings. Solskjaer is supposedly working to a budget of at least £140 million, and while he is eyeing up opportunities to hire from Bournemouth, time is ticking.
The coach is, therefore, considering bringing Smalling back into the squad as a fall-back, should opportunities fall through. However, it might not be that easy. The Red Devils were ready to sell Smalling, and Roma are more than ready to buy him after a great season on loan.
Does It All Depend on Bournemouth?
Bizarrely, the future of the Man United first team for 2020/21 revolves around both Bournemouth and Roma. Smalling’s move to Roma was all but greenlit – however, it is not just the Bournemouth conundrum which is bringing Smalling back into the picture.
Reports show that Roma may not be able to meet United’s initial asking price for the defender, which of course helps to put his future at his new potential club in jeopardy.
It’s thought that the Red Devils were requesting at least £18 million for the player. However, in light of ongoing budget cuts, Roma may only be able to pay half of the going rate.
This means that – ultimately – Solskjaer may not have much option but to recall Smalling.
What Happens Next?
Despite the Premiership having only just ended, it is, of course, crunch time for managers to start looking for the best players on the markets ready to find new clubs. Therefore, United are going to need to seriously consider where Smalling’s place is going to lie in the long run.
Will Solskjaer be able to seal the deal he’s looking for in his new defence strategy? Will this mean Smalling gets sold to Roma below the full asking price? Time will tell, but for now, the clock ticks down, and United and its fans are chomping at the bit to find out who’s going to be in the first team come the new season.