(via Contrapunto)

Serie A giants Internazionale and Juventus have reportedly joined the race to sign Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who is currently on loan in Roma. The center-back has exceeded during his stint with the capital team, drawing a lot of attention from big clubs both in Italy and abroad.

It was reported that Arsenal had the upper hand to sign Smalling, but now they could face strong competition from both Inter and Juve, who are eager to land an experienced center-back. When his time with Roma finishes, Manchester United expect Smalling to return to Old Trafford but are said to have already set an asking price.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, via The Sun, Roma placed a bid of £13 million, but the Red Devils want £17m. The Daily Mirror reported that Arsenal were involved in the race for the defender, as they’re having some defensive issues.

William Saliba is arriving at the Emirates next year, and Unai Emery’s successor may choose to dispense with the likes of David Luiz, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi given how they have failed to convince in North London.

Smalling is emerging as one of the most in-form defenders in Europe right now, which has prompted several clubs to turn their attention to him. Now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport via ESPN, Juve and Inter have both identified Smalling as a potential summer transfer target, having been impressed with his displays in the Italian top flight.

Given his experience and his price tag, it won’t be hard for any of these clubs to secure Smalling’s services next year. Juventus are linked with letting defenders Daniele Rugani and Merih Demiral go, which could make room for experienced back-ups such as Smalling.