Defender Chris Smalling heads to Italy to complete season-long Roma loan after falling out of favour at Man United
- Chris Smalling is en route to Roma to complete loan move to Serie A club
- Manchester United defender was initially reluctant to move to Italy
- But Smalling agreed on Thursday night that season-long loan was best option
- He had fallen down the United pecking order after signing of Harry Maguire
Chris Smalling is heading to Roma this morning to complete his move to Serie A.
Despite initial reluctance from the 29-year old, Smalling agreed late last night to the season loan though there is no plan to make the move permanent.
The centre back signed a new contract with United last December and had hoped to remain at Old Trafford.
Chris Smalling is on his way to Italy to complete a season-long loan move to Roma
Smalling, 29, was initially reluctant to make the move to Roma but changed his mind
He has not figured in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad since the arrival of £80m signing Harry Maguire.
Smalling has not made the bench for any of United’s opening three games this season, with academy product Axel Tuanzebe preferred among the substitutes.
United have seven centre backs and saw a move from Everton for Marcos Rojo fall through earlier this month.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to move Smalling on after signing Harry Maguire from Leicester over the summer to bolster his defensive options
Harry Maguire’s summer arrival from Leicester has pushed Smalling down the pecking order
United full back Matteo Darmian meanwhile has interest from Parma among other Italian clubs.
Solskjaer will have six centre backs on the books, even with Smalling’s departure.
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are the first-choice pairing, with Tuanzebe and Phil Jones behind them. Eric Bailly remains sidelined with a knee injury.
Marcos Rojo expects to still be at United come Tuesday after Luke Shaw sustained a thigh problem that will keep him out for a month.