Manchester United are set to offer both Alexis Sánchez and Chris Smalling to Serie A runners-up Inter in exchange for centre-back Milan Skriniar.
The 25-year-old Slovakia international joined Inter from Sassuolo in the summer of 2017 for close to £30m. Skriniar has been a consistent starter since his San Siro arrival and his ability to play on either the left- or right-hand side of three-man defence has made him a vital part of Antonio Conte’s team this season.
Sánchez has been Skriniar’s teammate for this campaign after arriving on loan in the summer. Smalling has also spent the 2019/20 season on loan in Serie A, making 37 appearances for Roma across all competitions.
In an attempt to get two ageing players off the wage bill and bolster their defence at the same time, Manchester United have offered Smalling and Sánchez to Inter, with Skriniar coming the other way according to the Italian publication Calcio Mercato.
This complex swap deal has supposedly arisen after talks to take Smalling to Roma broke down as the two clubs failed to agree on a transfer fee for the former Fulham centre-back. The Serie A side were thought to be offering €15m for Smalling while his parent club was demanding as much as €25m after add-ons.
Manchester United have also been negotiating a separate deal to take just Sánchez to Inter although finances have again complicated proceedings with the Chilean’s sizeable £400,000-per-week salary understandably a sticking point.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are considered to be unwilling to extend the loan deal of either Sánchez or Smalling as Manchester United hold out for a permanent transfer.
All three of Roma, Inter and Manchester United are still in this month’s Europa League. With the registration deadline for the tournament’s squad’s falling on Monday 3 August, Smalling will be unable to compete for Roma in the competition unless the clubs swiftly come to an unlikely resolution.