Shock Serie A loan for Smalling after Liverpool blocked Lovren deal

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is set to join Roma on a €3million loan deal, according to widespread reports.

The news was  broken by Il Tempo journalist Alessandro Austini, who tweeted Smalling was the ‘Mr X’ Roma had targeted to bolster their backline.

Sky Sport Italia are now claiming the Giallorossi have agreed a €3m loan for the centre-back, which  does not include an option to buy.

Smalling, 29, is now set to travel to Rome for a medical so the deal can be ratified before the September 2 European transfer deadline.

Smalling has fallen behind the likes of £85m new boy Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pecking order, but Solskjaer still blocked his departure to Everton at the start of the month.

However, it now appears that United were just not keen on selling to a Premier League rival.

Roma apparently moved for Smalling after their approach to Liverpool for Dejan Lovren was turned down.

Gazzetta dello Sport claim that Roma’s offer to sign Lovren permanently after a specified number of loan appearances was rejected by Jurgen Klopp.