With Newcastle United wanting to bolster the heart of their defence in January, rumours of bids being made are starting to appear left, right and centre.

Diego Carlos, currently at Sevilla, has reportedly been the subject of a couple, and now AS Roma’s Chris Smalling is one.

That’s according to Il Romanista, who explain that Newcastle have ‘received a good number of noes’, and ‘among these there was also that’ of the Rome club.

They point out this is because ‘an offer for Chris Smalling came’, whom the Magpies ‘had thought of entrusting the role of leader of a defence that is leaking from all sides’.

It’s said to have arrived ‘a few days ago’, and it was for a direct transfer of £10m (€12m), which were ‘put on a plate’, while ‘a contract was ready for the player until June 30th, 2024’.

That amount would have allowed the Italian club to make a ‘real capital gain’ on a player they spent €15m on a year and a half ago, but they ‘returned everything to sender’.

This is because José Mourinho ‘considers the Englishman the key man of his defensive line-up’ and because a sale ‘would have meant being forced to return to the transfer market to secure another centre-back’.

So, the message here appears to be either really up your offer or look elsewhere, Newcastle.

This all comes a day after it was claimed the Magpies had a strong interest in the player.