AS Roma have decided to step things up in their attempts to keep Chris Smalling beyond the current season.

The Manchester United defender has been a success with the Serie A club so far, and while there still hasn’t been any agreement found regarding a potential stay, work towards that goal is underway.

We’ve already had suggestions the Premier League side could be open to a paid loan for next year and an obligation to buy, with the latter coming on Sunday, explaining that talks were ‘very advanced’.

It was positive news for all involved, and it appears it could be because of one man: Jozo Palac.

Il Tempo on Monday reveal that Roma gave the intermediary a ‘mandate’ to work on the Chris Smalling folder, because while he might not be known to the public, Palac is known in the agent world as ‘one who closes deals he is assigned to’.

It’s explained the English defender ‘remains a priority’ for AS Roma and their manager, Paulo Fonseca, but, as Corriere also pointed out on Sunday, if they cannot get anything together, they’ll turn their attention to Jan Vertonghen.

We now have to wait and see if Palac lives up to his reputation.