(Reuters) – Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has travelled to Italy to seal a season-long loan move to Serie A club AS Roma, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday.
British media reported United have agreed a deal for 29-year-old centre back with Roma paying a fee of 3 million euros ($3.34 million).
England international Smalling arrived at Old Trafford from Fulham in 2010 and last year agreed a new deal until June 2022, with the option to extend a further year.
“It’s just come up the last couple of days, this opportunity for Chris. Of course we sat down yesterday and discussed it,” Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s league match at Southampton.
“At the moment we’ve got six fit centre-backs. I couldn’t promise Chris regular football. He’s on the plane over now and I think he’ll enjoy the experience over there.”
Solskjaer also expects full back Matteo Darmian, who has made only 13 United appearances since Dec. 2017, to leave before the European transfer window closes on Sept. 2.
“I can see maybe Matteo (Darmian leaving). There has been some interest in Matteo over in Italy, wanting to go back home,” Solskjaer added.
“Marcos (Rojo) is staying definitely so we have a squad now that’s less in numbers but still big enough and strong enough to have coverage in all positions.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)