Chris Smalling to join Roma on loan

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Chris Smalling is heading out on loan to Roma.

Despite signing a new contract earlier this year, the Manchester United and England center back has fallen out of favor at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Smalling, 29, will reportedly join Roma on a season-long loan deal for a loan fee of around $3.3 million. Roma would also have the option to buy Smalling permanently.

With Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof ahead of him in the pecking order, plus Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo all around as center back options for Solskjaer, this is a smart move for Smalling.

Roma sold Kostas Manolas to Napoli over the summer and are rebuilding after failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League this season. They drew 3-3 at home to Genoa in their opening Serie A game of the season and need a little help defensively.

Smalling is a towering figure who will block and clear until his heart is content. He has been at United for nine years, winning two PL titles, an FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League trophy.

This loan move works out well for everyone, as United have now sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, Alexis Sanchez is also heading to Inter on loan and Smalling is now heading to Roma.

The path from Manchester to Italy is becoming a well trodden one.