Chris Smalling admits lure of permanent Roma transfer amid Man Utd decision

Chris Smalling has admitted that he is open to leaving Manchester United permanently this summer after excelling for Roma on loan this season.

The England centre-back ditched drizzly Manchester for sunny Rome last summer after it looked like he would not play much of a part in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans this year.

Smalling’s risk to move abroad for the first time in his career appears to have paid off too, becoming a core part of Roma’s defence alongside fellow new recruit Gianluca Mancini.

In light of his change in fortunes on the pitch, Smalling has opened up on just how much he has enjoyed living in Italy.

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“When I first came it was exciting but also daunting because you're not sure what to expect,” he told Sky Sports.

“New country, new experience. But considering the way I've settled in, the love that I have felt, especially from the fans but everyone in Rome, it will be an interesting decision to make.

“Some of the other players said if you really hit the ground running, the love that you can have in this city is unbelievable.

“That's really what I've felt and so have my family. Long may it continue.”

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With a huge decision to make this summer on whether he returns to Old Trafford or looks to make a permanent move to Roma, Smalling revealed that he is planning on holds talks with Giallorossi chiefs at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old continued: "Even when I spoke to them [Roma], it was a case of 'let's have a good season, hopefully it all goes to plan, the team is successful and I am successful' and at the end of the season we'll sit down.

"That was the plan at the start of the season and obviously we're not finished yet so come the end of the season we'll see what the plan is.

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"I spoke to [Solskjaer]… Over the previous years, I had been used to playing in nearly every game when fit.

"So to cut that in half, when you look around at other opportunities, there was nothing better than [Roma] that could have come up.

"We spoke openly and we made it happen."

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