Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez will both see out the remainder of the 2019/20 season in Italy, Manchester United has confirmed.
Smalling will remain at Roma for the rest of the Serie A season — scheduled to last until the beginning of August — due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same applies for Sanchez at Inter Milan, with his deal extended until the end of the first week of next month.
The English centre-back has had a huge impact at Roma this season, featuring over 30 times for the Italian club and scoring two goals. It wouldn’t surprise us if Roma worked to finance a deal to sign him permanently in the summer.
An official statement from the club reads: “Manchester United pair Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez will both see out the remainder of the 2019/20 domestic campaign in Italy, after the decision was made to extend their loan contracts with Roma and Inter Milan respectively.
“Smalling will stay at the Stadio Olimpico for the rest of the Serie A season, which is currently scheduled to last until the beginning of August, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alexis’ deal at Inter Milan has also been extended until the end of the first week of next month.”
If their loan deals expire at the end of the Serie A season, it doesn’t sound like Smalling or Sanchez will be able to play for either Italian side in the Europa League where they could potential face United in the latter stages.
The Europa League is set to be a straight knockout tournament from its quarter-final stages onwards. Fixtures will be held as single-legged ties on August 10-17.
This is UEFA’s attempt and getting their competitions done and dusted to they can try get their football calendar back to some sense of normality.