CHRIS SMALLING faces a spell on the sidelines after picking up a muscle injury.
The Roma centre-back limped off after just 30 minutes against Napoli, being replaced by ex-Tottenham defender Federico Fazio.
Smalling’s side went on to lose 2-1 but it could be further misery for the on-loan Manchester United player.
He could be out for several matches but will find out his fate after being evaluated by Roma medics this week.
It brings a halt to the 30-year-old’s new found form in Italy which has the former England international edging towards a permanent transfer.
According to Roman radio station Tele Radio Stereo, a deal has already been agreed which will see Smalling go back out on loan next season before Roma sign the defender.
It is understood Roma will effectively buy Smalling this summer, with the payment being stretched out over two seasons ending in 2022.
The Italians are said to have agreed a deal worth £15-16million.
United had been holding out for around £25m but appear to have dropped their valuation.
Smalling has played 32 times this season scoring twice.
Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed for the defender to link up with record signing Harry Maguire – who was brutally nutmegged against Bournemouth.
But with Smalling appearing to have his heart set on staying in the Italian capital, United have been forced to negotiate a sale fee.