By 90Min
September 05, 2019

Chris Smalling could make his loan move to Roma permanent if he proves a success at the Stadio Olimpico, according to an agent who was involved in the initial deal.

Giulio Meozzi was an intermediary as Manchester United negotiated the defender's temporary transfer with the Giallorossi, with the Italian confirming Smalling may stay in Serie A for the long-term. The 31-cap England international became surplus to requirements at Old Trafford following the £80m arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester City.

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Smalling made 24 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils in 2019/20, though he played more than 30 games in just one of his nine seasons with the club.

Speaking to TuttoMercatoWeb about the centre-back's chances of extending his Italian adventure, Meozzi said (as quoted by Sport Witness): "There is a possibility of making a dry loan, with the option to keep for next year and that depends on his performances.

"Roma has done good business and has also been able to sell well. Smalling was an important operation, just as that of [Davide] Zappacosta."

Smalling was an unused substitute as Paulo Fonseca's recruits drew the Rome derby 1-1 with Lazio, Aleksandar Kolarov hitting their only goal from the penalty spot.

Marco Rosi/GettyImages

Kostas Manolas - one of Serie A's standout defenders over recent campaigns - left Roma over the summer, completing a €36m transfer to Napoli.

That left a sizeable gap in the team's defence, with the Giallorossi bringing Smalling in to bolster their defensive options.

Fonseca selected Federico Fazio and Gianluca Mancini as his centre-backs for Sunday's clash with Lazio, whilst Juan was chosen over the latter in the opening day draw with Genoa.

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