According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Everton are interested in signing Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling.
Smalling was deemed surplus to requirements at United last summer and subsequently joined Roma on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.
The 30-year-old has been in impressive form this term, contributing two goals in 28 appearances for his loan side in all competitions, while averaging 2 interceptions, 1.1 blocks, 4.5 clearances and 3.7 aerial duels won per match in Serie A.
As it stands, Smalling will return to Old Trafford this summer, but Gazzetta dello Sport reiterates the point that Roma are keen to complete a permanent deal.
The same report claims that there is also interest from the Premier League, with Everton one of the clubs on his trail.
That said, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have also been mentioned as possible suitors for the former non-league defender, who has a contract with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side until the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
It is worth remembering that Smalling has turned out for United on 323 occasions in all competitions, winning eight trophies in the process.
Indeed, the defender lifted the 2010/11 and 2012-13 Premier League trophies, whilst he has also won the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League.
Smalling’s experience, quality and the fact that he has played 44 times in the Champions League should make him a very attractive proposition for clubs this summer.
And Everton would certainly boost their chances of pushing closer to the top six next season if they manage to complete a deal for the former Fulham ace.
With Michael Keane their oldest senior centre-back at 27, they need that element of experience and seniority at the heart of a backline, someone who can organise and orchestrate, while overall defensive improvements are needed as well – just five Premier League sides have conceded more than the Toffees this season.
An in-form Smalling would seem to fix both of those issues, and give Everton a real platform to improve on what has been a largely underwhelming season.