Former Roma boss mocks Manchester United over Smalling transfer

Former AS Roma sporting director, Gianluca Petrachi has revealed his shock over how easily the Italian club got Chris Smalling from Manchester United last year.

The Englishman fell out of favour with Olé Gunnar Solskjaer, and slipped down the pecking order in the team, which prompted the move to the Serie A side.

However, Smalling featured regularly for Roma, who then, went on to finish 5th in the league last season.

The defender has since secured a permanent move to Italy during the summer, and Petrachi has admitted he didn’t initially believe it was going to be so easy to get him.

He told Corriere dello sport, “We were trying to sign Dejan Lovren.

“But I did not want to spend so much on a player with a groin problem.

“An Italian agent then called me and said: ‘you can have Smalling on loan.’ I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a hoax.

“Smalling is one of those players great at marking that are going extinct.”

Do you think United made a mistake in selling Smalling?