Antonio Conte 'Identifies' Man Utd's Chris Smalling as Inter Transfer Target

Chris Smalling
Smalling was impressive at Roma in 2019/20 | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Inter boss Antonio Conte is keen on bringing in Manchester United's Chris Smalling after his impressive season with Roma, and the Nerazzurri will now 'try' to meet the Red Devils' asking price for the defender.

With Smalling not in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans, he was sent out on loan to Roma last summer with the hope he could rediscover his best form. This is exactly what has happened, with the English defender receiving much praise over the course of the 2019/20 campaign as a result of his impressive displays.

Roma are keen to make Smalling's loan move permanent, but have struggled to agree a fee with Man Utd. I Giallorossi have looked to make another loan offer with an obligation to buy next summer, but the Red Devils are looking for around £23m for his services now.

While a move back to Roma can't be ruled out, they will face stiff competition from Inter for his signature. Sport Mediaset report that Conte is a big fan of Smalling and has 'identified' him as a defensive target.

Inter were keen on Nikola Milenkovic, but Fiorentina's €40m asking price has put the Italian giants off. Smalling, however, is a more cost-effective option for the club, while he also meets all the criteria needed for Conte.

Chris Smalling
Conte is a big fan of Smalling | MB Media/Getty Images

The report notes that one or both of Diego Godin and Milan Skriniar will depart San Siro this summer and, as a result, defensive reinforcements are required. Most notably, Skriniar has been linked with a number of top European clubs, with Inter said to be ready to cash in on him.

Smalling proved himself in Serie A in 2019/20, while the report further claims that Conte has also been impressed by the Englishman's desire and hunger to win. Inter will have to part ways with around €25m in total, but this still represents a very good deal for the club considering the figure they were quoted for Milenkovic.

Milan Skriniar
Skriniar could be on his way out of the club this summer | Silvia Lore/Getty Images

I Nerazzurri are aware of this and will push ahead in their efforts to land the 30-year-old; the report adding they will now 'try to file the amount' that United have asked for.

Of course, should Smalling complete a switch to San Siro this summer, he would team up with a number of old teammates. The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young have switched Manchester for Milan already, while Alexis Sanchez also completed his permanent move recently.