‘I felt pure happiness when I arrived’: Chris Smalling opens up on finally sealing £18m move to Roma after ‘long and painful’ negotiations to end his frustrating spell at Manchester United
- Chris Smalling joined Roma last week from Manchester United for £18million
- Smalling has revealed that the transfer negotiations were ‘long and painful’
- The 30-year-old added that he was touched with the welcome from Roma’s fans
- He also intends to learn Italian so he can have a greater influence at the club
Chris Smalling has revealed his relief at completing his £18million move to Roma from Manchester United.
Smalling’s transfer to the Serie A side was sealed just one minute before the Italian transfer window closed on October 5.
The 30-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after spending last season on loan at Roma.
Chris Smalling was given a rousing reception by Roma fans after sealing his move last week
Smalling enjoyed a fine season on loan at Roma last season and is delighted to be back in Italy
The central defender was greeted with a chorus of cheers when he was met by a crowd of Roma fans last week.
Smalling has spoken of his delight at signing permanently and thanked Roma for their patience during what were ‘long and painful’ negotiations.
He said: ‘I’m very happy to be here. I am convinced that the team is stronger this year thanks to the experience gained in the last season. I can not wait to start, we want to take away great satisfaction.
He wasn’t part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans at Manchester United and was allowed to leave
‘I felt pure happiness when I arrived, I had never felt such affection from the fans. I want to return this affection by helping the team to win a trophy.
‘I want to relive the joys of last season with this team and this coach. The city is also very pleasant. The negotiations were long and painful, I am grateful to Roma for being here and I want to repay the trust.’
Smalling has also said he intends to learn Italian so that he can have a greater influence on and off the pitch just as captain Edin Dzeko has.
He added: ‘I think Rome has one of the best captains in the world, Edin Dzeko, there are many leaders and Dzeko is one of them. I want to be a leader on and off the field, like I did last season. I want to work to become one outside the camp and therefore I intend to learn Italian.’