Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's texts to Chris Smalling amid Man Utd transfer talks with Roma

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been keeping a close eye on Chris Smalling’s performances on loan at Roma – and regularly checks in on the defender.

Smalling, 29, was shipped out to the Italians for the remainder of the season after Solskjaer deemed the centre-back surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.

The former England international has quickly established himself in the starting line-up at Roma, making six successive starts to help them climb up to fourth in Serie A.

And, despite leaving United on a temporary basis, Smalling has remained in contact with the Red Devils players – and the boss.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer embraces Chris Smalling last season

“I still speak to all the players – I was there a long time, they’re my friends. Tough times there at the moment, but the manager drops me messages,” Smalling told The Athletic .

“He’s watching me, he saw I’ve been man of the match and congratulated me.

“I think that Italian football suits aggressive and quick defenders who read the game well. I want to be a nuisance to the strikers here, just as I did in England.”

Chris Smalling is now starring on loan in Italy with Roma

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Smalling also opened up on why he opted to make the surprise move abroad, with the defender remaining tight-lipped over whether he will return to United.

“I think I’ll be a better player when I go back to Manchester next May.

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“I was in constant dialogue with Ole and he told me that I would play a fair amount of games.

“I would’ve played 20-25 games, maybe more, but then Roma made their offer. It was put to me and I felt I could play 40-50 games with Roma, maybe twice what I’d play at United.”


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