Solskjaer expecting Smalling and Darmian departures
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that both Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian could follow Romeluk Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in swapping Manchester for Italy.
Manchester United confirmed on Thursday night that Alexis Sanchez had left the club to join Inter Milan on a season-long loan.
It brings to an end the Chilean’s unhappy 18-month stay at Old Trafford, during which time he scored five times in 45 appearances following his arrival from Arsenal.
United have agreed to pay a large chunk of Sanchez’s wages – reportedly around the £6million mark – to get him out of the club with Solskjaer only keen on having players who want to be at United amongst his senior squad.
When asked whether Sanchez could have a future at United once his loan spell ends, Solskjaer wouldn’t rule it out.
“For him as well to restart and get himself playing regularly, getting himself scoring goals, that loan will only benefit everyone in the end,” he said.
“We’re going to watch every weekend now to see Romelu (Lukaku) and Alexis playing together.
The Norwegian is planning to trim his squad further before the European transfer window shuts on Monday, confirming Smalling is on the verge of joining Roma.
The England international is to travel to Italy on Friday to put the finishing touches to the move with the Serie A outfit paying £2.7million to take him on a season-long loan.
With eight centre-halves currently on the books, Solskjaer says he could not offer Smalling the guarantees he was looking for regarding first-team football and hoped he would return from his experience in Italy a better player.
Joining Smalling on the flight to Italy may have been Darmian with Solsjkaer confirming he is close to a return to his home country.
The 29-year-old has struggled to make an impact since joining from Torino in 2015 and has only managed 13 appearances since December 2017.
Darmian has reportedly been looking to leave since last summer and appears poised to seal a permanent switch with Parma suggested as a potential destination, while Inter Milan have previously been keen on the full-back.
However, one man who won’t be leaving United this summer is Marcos Rojo.
The Argentina international has been heavily linked with a move to Fenerbahce this week having slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford but Solskjaer says he wants Rojo to stay and won’t sanction a move away.
Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.