Smalling hints at permanent move away from Manchester United
Manchester United's Chris Smalling says he and his family are enjoying living in Italy and a permanent stay in Rome could be on the cards.
The England international joined Roma on August 30 on a season-long loan deal after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe ahead of him before the move to Serie A.
Roma paid €3million for his services for the year and Smalling has enjoyed himself in the Italian capital.
On November 24, he became the first English player to score at least two goals in the same Serie A campaign since David Beckham and has made 19 appearances in total for Roma.
🏴 Average rating of England's centre-backs in 2019-20 via WhoScored:
Chris Smalling – 7.09
Harry Maguire – 7.06
Chris Basham – 6.96
Jack O'Connell – 6.93
Joe Gomez – 6.89
Lewis Dunk – 6.88
Fikayo Tomori – 6.84
Michael Keane – 6.73
Tyrone Mings – 6.65
John Stones – 6.64 pic.twitter.com/udsXUPWnh7
— bet365 (@bet365) February 21, 2020
He has helped the capital club climb up to fifth in the Serie A table and they can still qualify for the Champions League this season.
Smalling still harbours hopes of playing for England at the European Championship this summer but will need to resolve his club future before then.
United appear ready to move Smalling on and a return to the Premier League now looks unlikely after his latest comments.
He told BBC Sport: “I feel like I’m picking up a lot on Italian style and tactics and how to manage games. I’m definitely adding to my game. I feel like I’m learning and improving.
“I’ve been more than happy with my first half of the season, it’s now just making sure that we kick on and finish the season strongly because we have a lot to play for.
“Coming over here and trying to hit the ground running with football was the priority. But my family settling in and me learning the language and enjoying the culture, it’s something you need to make the most of. My family and I definitely are.”