Chris Smalling set to return to Manchester United this week


Chris Smalling is set to miss the final stages of the Europa League with Roma and return to Manchester United as the Serie A giants run out of time to strike a deal with the center-back.Smalling has excelled in Serie A this season and Roma want to keep the 30-year-old, but the deadline to register teams for the Europa League is Monday night and a deal is not considered close.

The original loan deal that brought Smalling to Roma for the season was extended to cover the end of the Serie A campaign, but it was never going to be extended again to accommodate the conclusion of the Europa League this this month.

Instead, Roma are expected to make a permanent transfer or other long-term loan for Smalling and that likely won’t happen in time for him to be signed up for their squad for the final stages of the competition.

Roma have paid United a £ 2.7million loan for this season and Smalling has been a regular with Giallorossi, starting 29 Serie A games and seven other Europa League games.

Roma sporting director Gianluca Pertrachi has already confirmed that the club want to keep Smalling, as well as former United player Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and that he believes the players want to stay at the Stadio Olimpico as well.

“The numbers don’t lie, these are two successful loans,” Pertrachi said Sky Sports in Italy last month. “Unfortunately we lost Mkhitaryan to a physical problem for a little while, but he’s very comfortable here, as is Smalling.

“We will do everything we can to keep them, especially since they want to stay here. We will find out in the future whether we can do it or not, but I feel the players are on my side. ”

While Smalling is expected to return to United before the conclusion of the Europa League, he is not eligible to be listed in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for the competition.

United will face LASK Linz in the second leg of their last 16 first leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday and held a 5-0 lead from the first leg. United will then face FC Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir in the quarter-finals on Monday August 10 (8 p.m.) at Stadion Koln in Cologne, with the tournament concluding in Germany.

Roma will face Sevilla in the round of 16 and not having played in the first leg, this game will be played in a single match this Thursday at MSV Arena in Duisburg.


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