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Uber is in talks to purchase Postmates for roughly $2.6 billion following the collapse of its takeover deal with Grubhub, according to reports.

The deal would further consolidate the food delivery industry at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has demand soaring. It would also strengthen Uber’s delivery arm, Uber Eats, which is unprofitable despite being the second-biggest player in the American market, reports say.

Uber started putting together an offer for Postmates, which was last valued at $2.4 billion, soon after its proposed $6 billion tie-up with Grubhub fell apart, the New York Times reported late Monday. Chicago-based Grubhub ended up getting bought by Dutch delivery firm Just Eat Takeaway in a $7.3 billion deal.

Uber and Postmates could announce a deal by next week if they reach one, which is not guaranteed, according to The Wall Street Journal. Neither Uber nor Postmates immediately provided comment to The Post Tuesday morning.

The takeover could reportedly give Uber a boost as the coronavirus crisis depresses demand for its core ride-hailing service. Postmates — the smallest major player in the US food delivery market — had previously discussed sales with Grubhub and rival DoorDash and was getting ready to publicize its filing for an initial public offering, according to reports.

The recent moves to consolidate the sector have raised fears among lawmakers and restaurant industry advocates about tech giants further tightening their grip on the mom-and-pop eateries that rely on their services. Delivery companies have drawn scrutiny for the steep commissions they charge restaurants, leading the New York City Council to approve a cap on commissions in May.

Uber and Postmates previously joined forces on a federal lawsuit challenging a California law that aimed to force tech companies to classify their gig workers as employees rather than independent contractors. The companies argued the law would hike their costs while limiting flexibility for their workers. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has stood by the measure as an effort to protect workers and moved to dismiss the lawsuit.

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Man Utd in talks with Roma over extending Chris Smalling’s loan for next season amid transfer talks over £13m deal

MANCHESTER UNITED are in talks with Roma about extending the centre-back's loan deal to include next season, according to reports.

The Englishman has been on loan with the Serie A side since last summer and the discussions have taken place amid recent reports linking him with a permanent transfer at the end of this season.

1Man Utd are in talks with Roma about extending Chris Smalling's loan next season

Smalling has become a fans' favourite at the Stadio Olimpico - making 32 appearances in all competitions this season.

However, his current deal sees him return to Old Trafford on August 2 when Serie A finishes.

But the Italians are now discussing the option of having him on loan again next season with the option to buy for £13m at the end of that campaign, according to Football Italia.

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The Red Devils are said to want a fee of around £22m - down from their previously requested £25m.

Club adviser Franco Baldini is said to have offered United a £2.5m loan fee for next season.

And Roma would offer Smalling a four-year-deal if his move was made permanent next summer.

But as things stand United are reportedly holding firm and will not let him play in Roma's remaining Europa League games if a breakthrough cannot be made.

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Things appeared to have progressed at the end of June.

And in May, Smalling - who desperately wants to stay in Italy - spoke to boss Paulo Fonseca to let him know his thoughts.

And the Serie A outfit also committed to doing "everything" to keep the 31-cap England defender.

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