Manchester United ‘basically agree’ deal for defender’s short-term future

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /

Manchester United’s longest serving defenders looks set to leave.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy at Manchester United is slowly starting to fade into a distant memory. The legendary Scotsman’s time at Old Trafford seems like a fictional fairy tale at times, compared to the present circumstances at the club.

Of course not all is doom and gloom, and there can be a lot of solace found in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s ambitious rebuilding project which could reap major rewards in the future.

It is also a project that has so far seen many of the old-guard depart for pastures new at United.

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Chris Smalling is one of the few players on the books at Old Trafford who was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson. The England international was brought to the Red Devils a decade ago from Fulham, only two years after playing non-league football at Maidstone.

Smalling was just 21 years of age at the time of his transfer, but little was expected of the youngster. He was seen more as a squad player to fill the gaps when necessary rather than a first team regular. With the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic still dominating the defence in the first team, Smalling was able to hone his skills from the best in training.

In the end, the centre-back became a valuable and loyal servant at Old Trafford. He is often admired for his pace and composure on the ball. Smalling has had some great moments in the Red Devils colours, playing at a time of turbulence at the club.

Nonetheless, it is clear with Solskjaer’s new strategy focusing on the promotion of youth, at 31 years of age Chris Smalling no longer fits into the club’s plans.

Despite being thoroughly impressive during his loan spell at AS Roma and having established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the Serie A, the Red Devils have agreed to extend his stay in Rome.

According to a report by Italian outlet La Gazetta dello Sport via Sports Witness, United have ‘basically agreed’ to extend Chris Smalling’s contract until the end of the season in Rome and Roma will now look to negotiate further details about his permanent exit.

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