Manchester United have confirmed that Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling will spend the remainder of the 2019/20 season on loan at Inter and Roma respectively.
Both loan deals were due to expire at the end of June, which would ordinarily have been after the end of the season. But temporary extensions until the first week of August will allow each player to remain on loan until the end of the Serie A season.
With both Inter and Roma still in the Europa League, which won’t resume until later in August, it remains to be seen if further extensions will be granted that allow Sanchez and Smalling to compete.
Sanchez played only 45 times for United in 18 months following a marquee transfer from Arsenal in January 2018. It was hoped that a strong spell at Inter might boost his transfer value, only for the Chilean’s season at San Siro to be limited by injury.
Sanchez missed the whole of October, November and December and has only been a bit-part player for Inter on his return to fitness. The financial impact of the coronavirus crisis and his enormous wages will also make it difficult for United to move him ahead of next season.
Smalling has enjoyed a much more successful stint in Italy and has been hailed for his resurgent form while in action for Roma. Despite once looking like potential captain material at Old Trafford, the final nail in Smalling’s United coffin came with the £80m summer signing of Harry Maguire.
The centre-back has been linked with a handful of clubs as a result of his performances, with Roma also thought to be interested in sealing a permanent deal of their own.
Already this week, United have agreed to temporarily extend the loan deal until the end of the Premier League season for emerging goalkeeping star Dean Henderson at Sheffield United.