Football News

Chris Smalling arrives in Rome as Man Utd continue to offload senior players

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:19, 30 August 2019

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has completed his medical ahead of a proposed move to AS Roma.

The 29-year-old’s future has been in doubt since United signed Harry Maguire for £80m in the summer, with Smalling yet to make a matchday squad for the Red Devils this season.

Chris Smalling to Roma: Five things to know…

  • Chris Smalling signed for Manchester United from Fulham in 2010.
  • The centre-back has featured 323 times for the Red Devils.
  • But Smalling has been snubbed for the opening three games of the Premier League.
  • The 29-year-old is now in Rome and has completed a medical ahead of a loan move to Roma.
  • Smalling will join the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in swapping United for Serie A.

As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears happy to let the defender leave with United and Roma agreeing a loan deal until the end of the season, reportedly without an option to buy.

And Smalling has arrived in Rome and completed a medical with the Serie A club ahead of the proposed move, with Roma confirming the news on Twitter.

After losing Kostas Manolas to Napoli, Roma have been looking to sign an experienced centre-back, previously targeting Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren though no deal materialised.

Smalling follows 22-year-old Mert Cetin and Gianluca Mancini as Roma’s new centre-back signings to compete with Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio for starting roles this season.

Once the deal is confirmed Smalling will be the fifth senior player to leave Old Trafford this summer. United have already lost Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia on free transfers to Paris Saint-Germain and LDU Quito respectively. Meanwhile Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have both moved to Inter Milan on permanent and loan moves respectively.

And Smalling is not expected to be the final departure from Old Trafford, with Matteo Darmian reportedly set to sign for Parma on a permanent deal before the European transfer window ends on Monday.

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Solskjaer “couldn’t promise Smalling” regular football

Although the deal is yet to be officially confirmed, Manchester United manager Solksjaer has admitted he is allowing Smalling to leave as he couldn’t promise him regular football.

He told reporters: “This opportunity for Chris has come up in the last couple of days. We’ve got six fit centre-backs. I couldn’t promise him regular football.

“It’s a big club, a good league. There’s not many English players who have had the chance to play in Italy and I’m sure he’ll come back stronger and better for it.”

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