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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling wanted by AC Milan and rivals Inter

Chris Smalling’s sizzling start to life in Italy has started catching the attention, with bitter rivals AC Milan and Inter now reported ready to fight it out for his signature.

The defender sealed a loan switch to Roma in the summer transfer window, after being told his playing time would become limited at Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer sanctioned Smalling’s departure after the world record capture of Harry Maguire, though will be impressed with the progress of the 29-year-old in the Eternal City.

Chris Smalling has made an impressive start to life in Italian football with Roma

Chris Smalling has made an impressive start to life in Italian football with Roma

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer agreed Smalling's loan after the world record capture of Harry Maguire

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer agreed Smalling’s loan after the world record capture of Harry Maguire

Italian daily publication Il Tempo report that Smalling’s strong start to life in Serie A has alerted both Milan sides, who each desire his services to strength their defence.

The report adds that although flattered by interest, Smalling has a preference to remain in the capital and stay with Roma, should his move to Italy become permanent.

Smalling is now playing in the Italian capital alongside City legend Aleksandar Kolarov

Smalling is now playing in the Italian capital alongside City legend Aleksandar Kolarov

United are understood to be ready to offer Smalling terms on a new deal, despite the contract he signed in December 2018 tying him to Old Trafford until 2022.

As recently reported by Sportsmail, United would demand in the region of £17million (€20m) from Roma in order to sanction Smalling’s permanent sale.

Smalling has made seven appearances so far this campaign for Roma, getting his first goal for the club against Udinese.

United fans were left in awe recently following Smalling’s impressive goal-line clearance during Roma’s win against Napoli.

The footage quickly went viral on social media – in the aftermath of United’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Bournemouth – with many supporters lamenting the decision to allow the centre back to go out on loan.

‘Don’t want to admit it but he’s been far far better than Lindelof this season (probably even a tiny bit better than Maguire), however he is playing in an easier league,’ commented one fan online after seeing the clearance.

‘Although I’d hold off agreeing the deal with Roma just yet because we can either get more money (or even bring him back if he continues in this form).’

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