Chris Smalling ‘expected to return to Manchester United after loan move expires’… despite suggestions Roma want to make the switch permanent
- Chris Smalling is said to have impressed at Roma and has kept two clean sheets
- He has played five games for following his loan spell from Manchester United
- Roma were now said to be keen on signing the centre-back on a permanent deal
Chris Smalling is set to return to Manchester United after his season-long loan at Roma according to Sky Sports News.
The Serie A side reportedly wanted to open talks with United over the possibility of signing the defender permanently after an impressive spell so far.
Smalling found himself cast out at Old Trafford, with his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof at centre-back.
Chris Smalling is said to have impressed Roma enough for them to open talks over a transfer
He was subsequently shifted out to the Serie A giants on a loan deal until the end of the season, and has played five games so far.
And the Eternal City outfit were believed to be satisfied with Smalling’s displays enough to want to open discussions with his parent club over a transfer, according to The Mirror.
It is thought that the two clubs were set for a meeting on Friday to discuss the former Fulham defender’s future.
Roma are in need of defensive bodies as they compete for a top-four spot in Italy’s top flight, with three wins from eight games and just one defeat.
The former Fulham centre back found himself surplus to requirements at Old Trafford
Smalling has helped shore up Roma’s defence as the team have conceded 10 league goals so far, with the England international contributing to two clean sheets.
He very nearly had a third before a contentious decision in the Europa League on Thursday that saw a penalty given against him in the 94th minute, despite the ball looking to have hit him in the face.
Lars Stindl slotted home the resulting spot-kick to secure a 1-1 draw, leaving Smalling in ‘disbelief’ at the decision.