Roma want permanent Smalling, Mkhitaryan deals

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Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has told Sky Sports News he wants to sign on-loan duo Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to permanent deals.

Smalling has made 26 appearances in all competitions for Roma this season and revealed earlier this week he is open to extending his stay in the Italian capital beyond the end of the season.

As it stands, Smalling is scheduled to return to parent club Manchester United at the end of the season but Fonseca is desperate to hang on to the 30-year-old defender.

“Chris is a great, great man, a great, great professional,” Fonseca told Sky Sports News.

“The adaptation (to Italian football) was very easy for him. He’s a boy that everyone loves in the club because he is a great professional.

“I would like Chris to stay. We are speaking. I don’t know if it is possible because of the situation with Manchester United, but I would like so much for Chris to stay here with us because he is very important.

“He is a great player, a great man with a great attitude every day and for all of these reasons I would be very happy if Chris stays.”

On-loan Arsenal attacking midfielder Mkhitaryan, who was also team-mates with Smalling at United, has seen his temporary spell with Roma disrupted by injuries.

But he scored and contributed an assist in Roma’s 4-0 win over Lecce on Sunday, and Fonseca revealed he is also keen on signing Mkhitaryan on a permanent basis.

“Mkhi during this season got some injuries but he is returning now and he is proving his quality,” Fonseca said.

“Let’s see. He is a player with great decisions on the pitch and I would also like to keep Mkhi in our team.”

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