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Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi has revealed they are hopeful to sign Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling with a permanent deal.
Smalling has found his playing time limited amid Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as United manager and Harry Maguire’s transfer to Old Trafford.
The England international moved to the Serie A side with a loan move in the summer of 2019.
As the defender has already impressed with his game, having played in 21 games this season, Petrachi is keen on to sign another agreement with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
He told the Daily Mail: “There is a chance. The player will choose what to do. If he really wishes, we will be happy to have him with us permanently. We are very happy with Smalling and he knows it. With Manchester United, the relationship is excellent, we have an excellent feeling with the club. The boy is charismatic. He loves Rome and the Italian lifestyle. Smalling finds himself very peaceful in Rome, lives comfortably and has returned to great levels. He follows an Italian course to improve his grasp of the language. This made me very happy because it shows that the boy is intelligent. Technically he is very strong. I think it is fundamental for a sporting director to understand how some players can do well. I thought this move could work and I’m happy that the results prove me right.”
Speaking on the player, he added: “My characteristic has always been to choose guys with determination and desire to do well. Smalling wanted to demonstrate his strength. My goal is to make people play better and create harmony around them. He needed that. I was looking for an aggressive central defender to support a young man like Gianluca Mancini. Smalling was perfect for my football idea to help Mancini to grow rapidly. Smalling is a serious and professional guy, a good person.”
Smalling’s contract with the Red Devils expires in 2022 with the club having the option of a 12-month extension.