After collating five different reports this morning to bring you all the latest on the Chris Smalling saga, it’s all gone to, erm, doodoo(?) in the early hours of the afternoon.

This is brought to us by both Gianluca Di Marzio and Calciomercato, with the latter stating there has been an ‘abrupt brake’ in the negotiations meant to be taking the centre-back to the Serie A club.

As you might have guessed, it comes from Manchester United’s end, who have put their foot down, once again, asking for the €20m.

Calciomercato explain ‘this morning’s optimism has been replaced by a light apprehension for an affair that still hasn’t found a decisive square’.

It’s stated Jozo Palac, the intermediary on the case, and the Roma delegation will return to their talks ‘this afternoon after a brief pause’, and ‘everyone’s objective is to arrive at the white smoke’.

They then add ‘the crux is due to the evluation: Manchester want €20m, perhaps including the move of [Timothy Fosu-] Mensah’.

As for Di Marzio, he states ‘optimism no longer filters out for Smalling to Rome’, with some speaking of ‘braking’.

Negotiations, however, ‘continue’, but the agreement ‘has not yet been reached and important difficulties begin to emerge’.