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Chris Smalling hints at permanent Roma switch

Smalling hints at permanent Roma switch
© Reuters
Chris Smalling refuses to rule out the possibility of completing a permanent move to AS Roma from Manchester United next summer.

Chris Smalling has refused to rule out the prospect of leaving Manchester United to join AS Roma on a permanent deal next summer.

The defender has fallen down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is determined to use Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof as his first-choice paring this season.

In response, the Englishman completed a season-long loan move to Roma on Italian transfer deadline day last week and was on the bench for the club's 1-1 draw at Lazio last weekend.

When asked about whether he would consider a permanent move to Serie A, Smalling told the Daily Mail: "This is an opportunity that came to me that I was very interested in, and I was very eager to come.

"It happened very quickly and now I focus on the next game, getting up to speed with training in terms of the manager's methods and then hopefully have a very good season.

"To be able to have the chance at a big club, and then if it prolongs and the club is happy then I can definitely see a longer-term future in Italy."

Smalling's current season-long loan deal, which cost Roma £2.6m, does not include an option-to-buy clause.

The 29-year-old, who has made over 300 appearances for United in all competitions, could make his debut for Roma against Sassuolo on September 15.

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Chris Smalling warms up for Manchester United on November 24, 2018
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