Manchester United outcast Smalling joins AS Roma on loan

Chris Smalling signed a long-term contract extension at Manchester United last December but has been moved on to Roma.

The arrival of Harry Maguire during the close season left Chris Smalling down the pecking order at centre-back.   -  Getty Images

Roma has signed Chris Smalling on a season-long loan from Manchester United, the Serie A club announced.

Smalling signed a contract extension at Old Trafford running until 2022 last December, three days before then-manager Jose Mourinho was sacked.

The 29-year-old continued to feature under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the arrival of Harry Maguire during the close season left him down the pecking order at centre-back.

He has consequently opted for a temporary move to Roma, which paid United €3million (£2.7m) to seal the deal.

"This is the perfect opportunity for me," Smalling said in a statement. "The chance to experience a new league, with a big team that has got big aspirations is exactly what I needed.

"Hopefully I can hit the ground running. I'm looking forward to joining up with my team-mates."

Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi added: "We are pleased to bring a player like Chris, who has so much experience, to Roma. We are convinced he will help the growth of this squad and all the lads he plays alongside."

Smalling was identified as the man to shore up a Roma defence shorn of the influential Kostas Manolas, who joined Napoli ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

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