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Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has confirmed that he is hoping to complete permanent deals for on-loan pair Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Serie A side completed loan deals for the Premier League duo over the summer, with Manchester United defender Smalling particularly impressing in the Italian capital.

The 30-year-old centre-back has made 26 appearances in all competitions for Roma this season while Arsenal midfielder Mkhitaryan has featured just 12 times in the league due to injury problems.

Although both players are set to return to their respective parent clubs at the end of the season, Fonseca admitted that he would like them to remain at the Stadio Olympico.

“Chris is a great, great man, a great, great professional,” he told Sky Sports.

“The adaptation (to Italian football) was very easy for him. He’s a boy that everyone loves in the club because he is a great professional.

“I would like Chris to stay. We are speaking. I don’t know if it is possible because of the situation with Manchester United, but I would like so much for Chris to stay here with us because he is very important.

“He is a great player, a great man with a great attitude every day and for all of these reasons I would be very happy if Chris stays.”

Although Mkhitaryan has seen his time on the pitch restricted this season, the Armenian international has provided five goals and two assists for Roma in Serie A.

He scored one goal and set up another as his side beat Lecce 4-0 on Sunday, and Fonseca admitted that he would also like to see the 31-year-old make his move permanent while praising his impact.

The Roma boss added: “Mkhi during this season got some injuries but he is returning now and he is proving his quality.

“Let’s see. He is a player with great decisions on the pitch and I would also like to keep Mkhi in our team.”

It remains to be seen whether either player will be allowed to stay in the Italian capital beyond the summer, with some reports suggesting that Roma have already made attempts to agree a deal for Smalling.

Although the England International is under contract at Old Trafford until at least 2022, he has admitted he has an “interesting decision to make”.

“Some of the other players said if you really hit the ground running, the love that you can have in this city is unbelievable. That’s really what I’ve felt and so have my family. Long may it continue.”

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