Chris Smalling outlines his future plans after joining Roma on loan from Manchester United

Chris Smalling is looking to establish himself at Roma following his loan move from Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Chris Smalling has admitted that he sees himself staying in Italy long-term after sealing a surprise season-long loan move to Roma from Manchester United last month.

The 29-year-old featured prominently for United last season, making 34 appearances in total, but slipped down Ole Gunnar Solskjaers pecking order following the £80m signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester City.

After failing to play or even be named in the matchday squad in Uniteds opening three matches of the season, Smalling was allowed to join Roma who paid a £2.7m loan fee to take him.

Smalling is yet to make his debut for Roma having been named on the bench for Sundays Rome derby against Lazio but he is looking to establish himself in Paulo Fonsecas line-up after the international break.

Harry Maguire watches on during Manchester United's draw against Southampton
Chris Smalling was deemed surplus to requirements following Harry Maguires arrival (Picture: Getty)

Discussing the move, Smalling said: This is an opportunity that came to me that I was very interested in, and I was very eager to come.

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It happened very quickly and now I focus on the next game, getting up to speed with training in terms of the managers methods and then hopefully have a very good season.

To be able to have the chance at a big club, and then if it prolongs and the club is happy then I can definitely see a longer-term future in Italy.

Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez shake hands during Inter Milan training
Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez also left Manchester United to move to Italy, both signing for Inter Milan (Picture: Getty)

He added: Ive always had a desire deep down to experience this [playing abroad] and have an opportunity to come to a big club who has got big aspirations.

There is a lot of responsibility on the defence as a whole [in Italy] and the centre-backs too, but that is something I enjoy.

United offloaded four first-team players to Serie A clubs this summer with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez joining Inter and Matteo Darmian making the move to Parma.

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