Roma defender Chris Smalling admits he has an interesting decision to make regarding his future at the end of the season – joining Roma permanently or returning to Manchester United.
The 30-year-old has impressed while on loan at the Giallorossi, netting two goals in 24 matches in all competitions this season.
Smalling has a contract with United that runs until 2022, but he admits making a decision on his playing career at the end of the season will not be easy.
“When I first came it was exciting but also daunting because you’re not sure what to expect,” he told Sky Sports.
“New country, new experience. But considering the way I’ve settled in, the love that I have felt, especially from the fans but everyone in Rome, it will be an interesting decision to make.
“Some of the other players said if you really hit the ground running, the love that you can have in this city is unbelievable. That’s really what I’ve felt and so have my family. Long may it continue.”
United didn’t include a call-back clause in the loan deal, but Smalling was fully aware that would not be part of his move.
“Not really,” he added. “Even when I spoke to them, it was a case of ‘let’s have a good season, hopefully it all goes to plan, the team is successful and I am successful’ and at the end of the season we’ll sit down.
“That was the plan at the start of the season and obviously we’re not finished yet so come the end of the season we’ll see what the plan is.
“I spoke to [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer]. Over the previous years, I had been used to playing in nearly every game when fit.
“So to cut that in half, when you look around at other opportunities, there was nothing better than [Roma] that could have come up.
“We spoke openly and we made it happen.”