Roma’s plan to ruin Arsenal and Mikel Arteta’s transfer plans amid talk of Chris Smalling offer

Arsenal have made an offer to sign Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

That’s according to reports in Italy who claim the Gunners are keen to strike an agreement with their Premier League rivals in a bid to bolster their back-line in the summer transfer window.

Corriere dello Sport, as per the Metro, claim the Red Devils already have an offer on the table from the Gunners for Smalling and the north London outfit have ‘asked for information regarding a potential summer deal.

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However, what could stop a Smalling to Arsenal transfer going ahead this summer is the fact that Roma – with whom the defender is spending the season on loan – are keen to sign him permanently.

In fact, last month the Serie A outfit’s head coach, Paulo Fonseca, set out his plan for the United centre-back.

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

Smalling isn’t the only player whom the Roma boss is keen to sign on a permanent basis, with him also expressing an interest in Gunners attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

“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.”