This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
As per reports coming from Corriere della Sera (via The Sun), Inter Milan have joined the race to sign Manchester United loanee, Chris Smalling, upon the end of his spell at AS Roma. This could be ideal for them in case they can’t retain Milan Skriniar.
It seems that Roma will have some trouble keeping all the suitors away from Smalling come the end of his loan spell at the Italian capital.
Of course, the 29-year-old centre-back arrived from Manchester United on a loan as it was pretty clear someone would have to make way for the Red Devils’ new signing, Harry Maguire.
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But even though Smalling’s spell at Old Trafford was never brilliant or extraordinary, he seems a reformed man in Serie A, which has piqued many teams’ interest and among those are Juventus and Inter Milan, as per Corriere della Sera’s recent reports.
And seeing how their star in the back, Skriniar, is on the radar of some other giants of European football, namely Real Madrid and Barcelona, having a plan B could be beneficial for the Nerazzurri.
Losing Skriniar would no doubt be a big deal for Antonio Conte’s men but Smalling does look like more than just a decent replacement for the 24-year-old defender.
Let’s not forget that the 29-year-old former Manchester United man has improved drastically since swapping the Premier League for the Italian Serie A, and his numbers can surely attest to that.
So far, he has played eight games and even managed to score one goal for the Nerazzurri, tallying 1.3 tackles and 1.5 interceptions with 4.6 clearances per game in the process.
This is an improvement on his 1.3 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 4.4 clearances per game in 2018/19 with the Red Devils, not to mention that his offensive output has risen as well, jumping from 0.5 shots and 0.1 key passes per game to 0.9 and 0.3 in Serie A respectively.
Of course, suggesting that he could outright just replace Skriniar would be a stretch but he could offer a good alternative in case the Slovak does end up leaving Inter in the foreseeable future.
With such big teams prowling around, sometimes it’s good to have a plan B in the books and Smalling looks like an ideal one, and who could prove to be a big scoop for the Italians.