Roma manager, Paulo Fonseca has warned Arsenal that Chris Smalling is an important member of his team as both teams struggle to sign the England defender.
Smalling was sent on loan to Roma last summer after Manchester United captured Harry Maguire from Leicester City.
He had struggled to play at the top for some time now and it seemed that his time in the Premier League was up.
However, he has been reborn in the Italian Serie A and his performances have attracted the attention of the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal back home.
Roma remains interested in signing him permanently, but the Italians are struggling to meet Manchester United’s asking price.
Arsenal is in a better position to land him should the Gunners make their interest official, but Fonseca has told the Gunners that the player is an important one to his team and that he will be looking to keep hold of him beyond this season.
“He surprised me, Fonseca said as quoted by A Bola
“He’s a defender that had never left England and he arrived in a league very demanding of tactics, where details make the difference.
“Chris adapted very quickly. He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent. He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre.
“He’s fast, nearly unbeatable in one-on-ones. He has a great ability to read the play and anticipate. He was very important for this club.
“If possible, I would like him to stay. He’s a great professional and person, it’s a pleasure to have him here with us.”