Manchester United will not budge on their £18million valuation of Chris Smalling - but there is hope that a deal with Roma can still be reached.

United were originally demanding £20m for the defender, but are now willing to accept a little less, it is claimed.

Smalling spent last season on loan at the Stadio Olimpico and impressed for the Serie A giants throughout the campaign.

Roma made it clear early on that they wanted to sign the Englishman on a permanent deal, but refused to meet United’s asking price.

Smalling himself admitted he was devastated to be leaving the Italian club and even insisted he would take a pay cut to make a deal happen.

Chris Smalling said earlier in the year that he wanted to remain at Roma next season
Chris Smalling said earlier in the year that he wanted to remain at Roma next season

According to Corriere dello Sport, there is a feeling in Rome that the two teams will come to an agreement, although they are still apart in their valuation.

It was claimed that Roma’s latest bid was for £11m plus bonuses, but the report says that they could end up ‘meeting United in the middle’ by upping that to £13.5m plus bonuses.

They see that as an ‘important figure’ for a player who will be turning 31 in November and only has a limited number of years to offer going forward.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems happy to let Smalling leave Old Trafford despite his successful loan spell.

Indeed, he is on the hunt for another centre-back to partner Harry Maguire in the heart of his defence.

But he recently praised Smalling’s recent form while on loan in Italy, hinting that he could still have a future with the Red Devils.

“I think Chris has shown over his career how valuable he is for Man United,” he said.

"This season was about him being a regular, going to Roma, showing and proving how good a centre-back he is. I wanted to give Harry (Maguire), Vic [Victor Lindelof], maybe Axel (Tuanzebe) a chance, so we found out that was the best for him to go to Roma, play for a year.

“Now he’s coming back and Chris has shown this season that he will be valuable. I’ve been speaking to Chris throughout and been delighted with his season.”