• Smalling set to complete Roma move as Solskjaer confirms loan deal
    17:33 | 30/08/2019

    The England international will join the Serie A outfit for the 2019-20 season and could be followed to Italy by fellow defender Matteo Darmian.

    Photo by Getty Images

    Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is travelling to Italy to complete a loan move to Roma, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

    England international Smalling has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford following the arrival of summer signing Harry Maguire and is yet to make an appearance this season.

    Roma have been in the market for a centre-back this summer having sold Kostas Manolas to Napoli, with Liverpool‘s Dejan Lovren and Juventus‘ Daniele Rugani among those whom they have shown an interest in.

    But it is Smalling who will now represent the Giallorossi during the 2019-20 campaign, with Solskjaer revealing the former Fulham man had already set off to the Italian capital on Friday morning.

    “It’s just come up the last couple of days this opportunity for Chris, we’ve sat down and discussed it, at the moment we’ve got six fit centre-backs, I couldn’t promise Chris regular football, so he’s on the plane over now,” Solskjaer told a press conference.

    “I think he’ll enjoy the experience, it’s a big club, a big league, not many English players have had the chance to play in Italy. He’ll come back stronger and fitter for it.”

    Smalling only signed a new contract at Old Trafford in December that will keep him with the Red Devils until the summer of 2022, but it remains to be seen whether he has now played his final game for the club.

    In total he has made 323 appearances for the 20-time English champions since joining from Fulham in 2010, scoring 18 goals.

    He joins Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in swapping United for Serie A this summer, with the attacking duo having both secured moves to Inter in recent weeks.

    And Smalling may not be the last member of Solskjaer’s squad to arrive in Italy before the European transfer window shuts on September 2, with the Norwegian coach revealing Matteo Darmian may also be heading out of the exit door.

    The full-back has been linked with a return to his homeland for over a year, and Solskjaer confirmed there is interest in the Italy international from Serie A clubs.

    He denied, however, that Marcos Rojo would also be sold despite the Argentine being behind the likes of Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly in the fight for a place at the heart of United’s defence.

    “I can see maybe Matteo (leaving), there’s been some interest in Italy,” said Solskjaer.

    “Marcos is staying definitely. We’re a squad now that is less in numbers but still big enough and strong enough to have coverage in all positions.”

    United return to action on Saturday against Southampton as they look to bounce back from defeat to Crystal Palace last time out in the Premier League.

    Source – Goal.com

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