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Newcastle boss Steve Bruce ‘eyeing move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling’

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is weighing up a move for Chris Smalling, according to reports.

However, Sportsmail understands the Manchester United defender is not interested in a move to St James’ Park.

The centre-back spent last season on loan at Italian side Roma, where he played 37 times in a successful spell to help them to a fifth-placed finish in Serie A.

According to Sky Sports, the 30-year-old defender is at the top of Newcastle boss Steve Bruce’s transfer list for this summer.

The report adds that Bruce is keen to bring in British additions to St James’ Park and has identified 31-cap England international Smalling as a player who clearly fits the bill. 

Sportsmail nevertheless understands that Smalling – who has two years left on his £130,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford – is not keen on moving to Newcastle. 

The news comes a couple of days after reports that Smalling – whose last appearance for United came in the 2-0 home defeat to Cardiff on the final day of the 2018/19 season – is willing to take a pay cut to make his move to Roma permanent.

Roma were desperate to keep the defender for the rest of their Europa League journey but failed to reach an agreement with United to extend the loan deal.

Serie A rivals Inter Milan are also interested in signing Smalling on a permanent deal during the summer transfer window.

Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez both left Old Trafford for Inter last summer, and the duo were soon joined by fellow team-mate Ashley Young in January.

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