December 7, 2021

Smalling joins Roma in £18m deal

Spread the love

Manchester United have agreed a deal with Roma for Chris Smalling, believed to be in the region of €15m plus €5m in add-ons.

After weeks of negotiations, the clubs have held positive talks in the past days and a deal worth £18m in total has now been struck.

Smalling, who has signed a three-year deal at the club, has been pushing for a move to Roma throughout the summer, where he impressed last year after having joined on a season-long loan for a loan fee of £2.7m.

The 30-year-old has been frozen out at Old Trafford following his return, training on his own and has been omitted from all of United’s matchday squads so far this season.

Chris Smalling has enjoyed something of a renaissance under Roma boss Paulo Fonseca
Image: Roma boss Paul Fonseca wants to bring Smalling back to Italy

United have eight centre-backs on their books including Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and academy product Teden Mengi – with Smalling not thought to be a part of boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans.

Smalling was Roma’s top target this summer and the Serie A side have approached United multiple times in pursuit of a permanent deal but their offer fell short of the £20m asking price.

Inter Milan and Newcastle were also interested in the centre-back this summer after his three goals in 37 appearances for Roma last year.

Smalling returned to Old Trafford in August after the clubs were not able to find an agreement to extend his loan to cover the Europa League finals, where Roma suffered a round of 16 defeat to winners Sevilla.

The centre-back said he was “gutted” he was not able to “finish what we started this season”.

Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has made no secret of the importance of Smalling to his back-line and has been vocal in his wish to bring him back to the Stadio Olimpico.

“I will do everything I can to keep him at Roma,” Fonseca said in May.

Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini celebrate after Roma progress
Image: Roma have moved closer to United’s £20m valuation of the defender

“He’s an amazing man, so humble, so professional. He is adored by the fans and established himself as one of the leaders in the dressing room.

“It’s not easy for English central defenders to adapt so quickly to Italian football, the record there isn’t good. But he has been amazing.”

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News in February, Smalling said that he had moved to Roma from United due to a lack of game time.

“I spoke to [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer]… Over the previous years, I had been used to playing in nearly every game when fit,” he said.

“So to cut that in half, when you look around at other opportunities, there was nothing better than [Roma] that could have come up. We spoke openly and we made it happen.”

Transfer Deadline Day – October 5

The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday October 5 with a feast of activity throughout the day involving the biggest names in football.

Some of the highlights to enjoy on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms:

  • Breakfast with David Ginola and Rachel Yankey
  • The Football Show Special with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole
  • Countdown with Harry and Jamie Redknapp
  • Supporters at the heart of the show with Sky VIP fan wall

You can also follow the stories on Sky Sports‘ digital platforms, with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

Here’s all you need to know about Deadline Day and how to keep across all the deals and drama with Sky Sports.