Chris Smalling admits he has “an interesting decision to make” – staying with Manchester United or moving to Roma permanently.
The 30-year-old central-back is currently impressing on a season-long loan with the Serie A club and has quickly settled into life in the Italian capital, playing all 90 minutes in 20 of Roma’s last 21 league matches.
Smalling is contracted to United until 2022 and the club have an option to extend that for a further year, but he has previously said he would consider making a permanent move to Roma after making such a strong start.
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Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has since told Sky Sports News he wants to sign him and in a new exclusive interview, Smalling said: “When I first came it was exciting but also daunting because you’re not sure what to expect.
“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.”
As it stands, Smalling is scheduled to return to parent club United at the end of the season but admits he was not surprised by the club’s decision not to include a call-back clause in his loan contract with Roma.
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“Not really,” he said. “Even when I spoke to them, 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.
“I spoke to him [Ole Gunnar 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 this [Roma] that could have come up.
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“We spoke openly and we made it happen.”
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