Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has reportedly agreed to join Serie A giants AS Roma on a season-long loan deal.
Much like his old team-mate Romelu Lukaku, Smalling is now a fringe player at United following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival.
The 29-year-old was an ever-present figure in the Red Devils backline for nearly a decade. He’s made a total of 323 appearances and helped the club win eight trophies, which include two Premier Leagues and a Europa League.
But Solskjaer instead prefers to pick club-record signing Harry Maguire and Swede Victor Lindelof as his two centre-backs. Therefore, Smalling is yet to play even a minute of football this season.
Interestedly, though, Solskjaer denied the England international a summer move to Premier League rivals Everton.
Although it seems Smalling can join a non-direct rival in Roma based on a report from Sky Sport journalist Fabrizio Romano. Apparently, the Giallorossi have struck a €3m loan agreement with United for a last-gasp swoop.
While the player has accepted an Italy move, however, Roma don’t have a buy-option as part of the deal. So, Smalling will definitely head back to Old Trafford come to the end of the season.
Regardless, the 29-year-old can restore his full focus on regular football now that he’s future is resolved. With Euro 2020 coming up next summer, it’s essential Smalling gets plenty of minutes to win a spot in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad next summer.
The Three Lions currently sit top of Group A in their qualification campaign on six points from two games. They will meet Bulgaria and Kosovo in a double-header between September 7-10 for their next qualifiers.
Smalling, meanwhile, could make his Serie A debut on Sunday for Roma’s derby against local rivals Lazio in the Italian capital.