Smalling will return to United – report
Reports claim Chris Smalling will return to Manchester United when his loan deal expires next summer despite talk of a permanent stay with Roma.
The 29-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements in the summer despite having made 323 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils and made the season-long loan switch to the Stadio Olimpico.
After a slow start in Italy, the England defender has now made six Serie A starts and one in the Champions League and seems to have settled into his new surroundings in the Eternal City.
Chris Smalling: Is winning more aerial duels per game (5.8) than any other player in Serie A this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 25, 2019
Recent speculation suggested that talks over a permanent switch to the Italian capital have already taken place but Sky Sports News are reporting that the former Fulham man will be back at Old Trafford next summer.
It is a slightly surprising report as United seem to be investing in youth, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepared to blood youngsters and take a few hits for the sake of the long-term future of the club.
Smalling will be 30 if and when he does go back to the Theatre of Dreams at the end of the campaign and, while not pensionable status just yet, does not fit the profile of the type of player the Norwegian tactician wants in his ranks.
It may be that United take him back only to sell him on somewhere else but that would seem a strange policy given they have a ready buyer in situ.
Roma are currently fifth in Serie A after a 2-1 win at home to Milan on Sunday and next face Udinese away from home on Wednesday.