Dybala Signs Three-Year Deal With Mourinho’s Roma

Argentina international forward Paulo Dybala signs his three-year deal with Roma on July 20, 2022.

 

Argentina international forward Paulo Dybala has joined Italian side AS Roma on a free transfer following his departure from Juventus, the Europa Conference League champions said on Wednesday.

Dybala, who was linked with a transfer to Serie A side Inter Milan after his deal with Juventus expired, has signed a three-year contract with Roma.

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The deal is worth 6 million euros ($6.14 million), Italian news agency ANSA said.

“The days that have led up to me signing this contract have been filled with so many emotions,” Dybala said in a statement.

“I am joining a team that is on the up, a club that continues to put in place strong foundations for the future, and a coach, Jose Mourinho, that it will be a privilege to work with.”

The 28-year-old won five league titles and four Coppa Italia trophies with Juventus after joining them from Palermo in 2015, scoring 115 goals in 293 appearances across all competitions.

However, his last two seasons with the Turin-based club were hampered by a string of injuries.

Dybala, who has earned 34 caps for Argentina since his senior debut in 2015, will become Roma’s fourth signing of the transfer window after the arrivals of midfielder Nemanja Matic, goalkeeper Mile Svilar and defender Zeki Celik.

Roma finished sixth in Serie A last season and won the Europa Conference League under Mourinho.

They kick off their league campaign with a trip to Salernitana on August 14.

Tearful Mourinho Hails Conference League ‘History’ For Roma


Roma’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho celebrates with the trophy after his team won the UEFA Europa Conference League final football match between AS Roma and Feyenoord at the Air Albania Stadium in Tirana on May 25, 2022. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho said that he and Roma had made history after winning the Europa Conference League on Wednesday, the club’s first-ever major European trophy.

Portuguese coaching icon Mourinho tried and failed to hold back the tears after Roma beat Feyenoord in their first continental final in over three decades and he was still emotional by the time he hailed his team after the trophy ceremony.

Roma fans have taken Mourinho into their hearts during an up and down season which culminated in Wednesday’s 1-0 win in Tirana which ended a 14-year trophy drought for the capital club.

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“I’ve been at Roma for 11 months, I knew the moment I arrived what it meant to the people. They had been waiting for something like this,” Mourinho told Sky.

“This was not work tonight, this was history. We had to write history. We wrote it.”

Wednesday’s triumph was his fifth European title and made him the first coach to win all current UEFA competitions.

And he confirmed that he would be staying at Roma next season to build on the solid work done in his debut season.

“I am staying, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“We need to see what our owners, who are fantastic people, want to do next season because this is history, but we can build a special project.

“Now I’m going to go on holiday, sit on the beach and think about it all for a while.”

AFP

Zaniolo Fires Mourinho’s Roma To Conference League Triumph 

Roma’s players celebrate after winning the UEFA Europa Conference League final football match between AS Roma and Feyenoord at the Air Albania Stadium in Tirana on May 25, 2022. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

Nicolo Zaniolo won Roma their first-ever major European trophy on Wednesday with the only goal in a 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the inaugural Europa Conference League final.

Italy international Zaniolo struck with a well-taken finish in the 32nd minute to earn Roma their first trophy of any kind since 2008 and cap a successful first season for coach Jose Mourinho in Rome.

Mourinho was moved to tears by his fifth continental cup as a coach, the first for an Italian team since he led Inter Milan to the Champions League 12 years ago.

“It was a real struggle but I’m really happy,” Zaniolo said to Sky.  “It was my dream and now I’ve done it.”

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Roma’s Italian midfielder and captain Lorenzo Pellegrini kisses the trophy as Roma’s players celebrate after winning the UEFA Europa Conference League final football match between AS Roma and Feyenoord at the Air Albania Stadium in Tirana on May 25, 2022. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

Roma, Fairs Cup winners in 1961, rode their luck with Feyenoord having the lion’s share of the play and twice striking the woodwork in the second half.

But they remained solid in the face of Dutch dominance and brought joy to one of Europe’s most passionate and success-starved fan bases.

Over 50,000 fans packed the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital to watch their team make a little piece of history in Albania and poured onto the pitch once the trophy was secured.

Meanwhile, the small corner of supporters allowed into Tirana’s National Stadium roared with delight once referee Istvan Kovacs blew his whistle to end their team’s trophy drought.

“We know that after these amazing victories it’s always difficult to start again but a real team wins, celebrates, and then gets going again,” said Rome-born captain Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Roma’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho celebrates with the trophy after his team won the UEFA Europa Conference League final football match between AS Roma and Feyenoord at the Air Albania Stadium in Tirana on May 25, 2022. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

For 1970 European champions Feyenoord it was their first-ever defeat in a European final as well as being the first loss in the competition for Arne Slot’s team.

Zaniolo broke the deadlock with the only real moment of magic in what was a tight, scrappy opening half.

He expertly brought down Gianluca Mancini’s ball over the top that just escaped Gernot Trauner before flicking a finish past the onrushing Justin Bijlow.

The goal made Zaniolo the first Italian to score in a European final since Filippo Inzaghi in 2007 as well as a confirmed hero for Roma fans.

Feyenoord had dominated the ball, creating nothing of interest, but that changed almost immediately after the restart.

Trauner diverted a low cross off the post and seconds later Rui Patricio made his first real save of the match, the Portuguese reacting well to push Guus Til’s shot away.

And the 34-year-old was called into action again four minutes after the break, flinging himself to his left to just tip Tyrell Malacia’s rocket of a shot onto the woodwork.

Almost straight after Tammy Abraham had his hands in the air in disbelief when he was pulled back by Marcos Senesi just as he was charging through on goal, but Feyenoord were clearly on top.

The Dutch side continued to push but a spirited defensive display typical of Mourinho’s teams held them off and handed Roma a rare moment of glory.

AFP

Mourinho Bursts Into Tears After Roma Reach First European Final For 31 years

Roma’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho claps his hands during the UEFA Conference League semi-final second leg football match between AS Roma and Leicester City at The Olympic Stadium in Rome, on May 5, 2022. Isabella BONOTTO / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho was in an emotional state on Thursday night after leading Roma to their first European Final for 31 years.

Tammy Abraham was the difference on the night as his early goal was enough to end Leicester’s dream of reaching the Europa Conference League and secure them a  decider in Tirana, Albania, against Feyenoord.

 

Roma striker, Tammy Abraham celebrates after scoring against Leicester City in the UEFA Conference League semi-final on Thursday night

 

Mourinho didn’t hold back the tears as he revelled in Roma’s victory against former English champions.

‘Why did I shed a tear? Because I feel what they all feel, It’s a giant club without a trophy room for the social importance of this club,” a relieved Mourinho said.

‘I know what it means to these people and my emotion was for them. I’ve been lucky enough to be in more prestigious finals but this made me feel very special.

‘We have a sense of family. With age, you become less selfish and more of a father or even a grandfather to some of them, I’m very happy for all of them. Rome is a red and yellow city, we’ll see the joy over the coming days. I’ve made a small contribution to that.’

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However, his counterpart, Breandan Rodger bemoaned his side’s loss admitting critical flaws in defending set-pieces against opponents.

“We’re clearly disappointed,” Rodgers told LFC TV in a post-match interview in Rome. “Obviously, it was a great atmosphere in a brilliant arena to play in, which was fantastic. In the first half, we weren’t so good with the ball I didn’t feel.

 

Leicester boss, Brendan Rodgers claps for the visiting fans on Thursday night’s UEFA Conference League semi-final loss against Roma in Turin

 

“The corner’s been an Achilles heel for us all season to be perfectly honest, so to concede the goal in that manner was hugely disappointing.

“Overall in the game, there weren’t too many big chances for either side. Each team had, I think, four shots on target. Unfortunately for us, the corner was the one that counted for them.”

Mourinho Rebuilding Reputation As Revitalised Roma Eye European Glory

In this file photo taken on March 4, 2021, Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage in London. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho returns to England on Thursday on a wave of enthusiasm as upbeat Roma prepare for their third European semi-final in five seasons with fans firmly behind their charismatic manager.

Mourinho’s spell at Tottenham, the first since 2002 where he left a club without winning a trophy, left the man formerly known as The Special One’s stock at an all-time low.

A crop of attack-minded coaches had left Mourinho behind as he crept towards his 60s, but he is rebuilding his reputation in the country where his star has never waned thanks to the historic treble he won for Inter Milan nearly 12 years ago.

Defeat on Saturday at Italian champions Inter ended a 12-match unbeaten run in Serie A and fifth-placed Roma’s outside hopes of reaching the Champions League.

They were outclassed at the San Siro by a superior team who are heavily fancied to retain their league title but the 3-1 loss failed to end the positive vibes in Rome ahead of Thursday’s trip to Leicester for the first leg of their European Conference League semi.

Fans have been packing the Stadio Olimpico for recent matches with more than 65,000 attending wins over Salernitana and Bodo/Glimt and 1,600 will be in fine voice at the King Power Stadium hoping that their team end an England hoodoo.

Roma have won just one of their 22 matches played in England, at Anfield way back in 2001 with Fabio Cappello at the helm for a 2-1 aggregate UEFA Cup defeat to Liverpool, and have taken some heavy beatings from Premier League sides down the years.

Last season’s Europa League first-leg 6-2 hammering at Manchester United cost Roma their first continental final since 1984 when they were beaten by Liverpool on penalties at their own ground.

Under Mourinho, Roma look more solid than they did under predecessor Paulo Fonseca and he has managed to create a cohesion between the team and a notoriously volatile fan base which last saw their team win a trophy in 2008.

Winning Mentality

In this file photo, Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline as Tottenham Hotspur’s Welsh striker Gareth Bale (L) leaves the game, substituted during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on January 31, 2021.
ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP

 

“He’s instilled in everyone the idea of never giving up, staying on it, and coming together to get results,” starlet Nicolo Zaniolo said in an interview with UEFA.

“We have a coach who knows what it takes to win, I think we’ve got a chance.”

Roma supporters have continually backed their coach even in the face of some deeply poor performances and at time embarrassing results — not even a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Bodo in the Conference League groups stage led to vociferous training ground protests which have been inflicted on previous coaches.

Considered yesterday’s man in England, Mourinho’s name still carries immense weight in Italy and fans have been prepared to stick by him in the hope that he weaves the same magic which denied them the Serie A crown in 2010.

Back then Mourinho was public enemy number one in the ‘Giallorosso’ half of the Italian capital as his Inter team pipped Roma to the league on the final day of the season, a triumph that came after Lazio fans had hailed him a “true man in a fake football” in a match against Inter they had demanded their own team lose.

Against type, the 59-year-old has even created a team which plays in a more contemporary style, pressing its opposition and at times putting together some sparkling passing manoeuvres.

Stephan El Shaarawy’s recent equaliser at then-title chasers Napoli was the latest example of rapid ball movement and forward-looking play which has helped Tammy Abraham net 24 times in all competitions in his first season in Italy.

The return from injury of Zaniolo, whose hat-trick in the previous round eased Roma’s passage into the last four, will also help Mourinho in his bid to make history.

AFP

Arsenal Loan Maitland-Niles To Mourinho’s Roma

Photo: [email protected]

 

England international Ainsley Maitland-Niles has gone on loan to Roma from Arsenal until the end of the season in a bid for more first-team action, the Italian league’s website announced.

The 24-year-old has found game time at Arsenal hard to come by just as he did last term and was loaned to West Brom for six months as a result.

Roma have paid Arsenal 500,000 euros ($565,000) according to Italian media for the midfielder who can also play in defence.

Mourinho’s side have yet to confirm the move but his contract in the Italian capital appears on the league’s site.

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Maitland-Niles — who has made eight appearances in the Premier League this term and only two of those as a starter — provides Mourinho with cover on the right flank for Dutch international Rick Karsdorp.

The five-times capped Maitland-Niles is in line for his debut on Sunday against Juventus with Karsdorp suspended.

Roma go into the match 14 points off leaders Inter Milan — who have a game in hand — but could draw level on points with fifth-placed Juve if they win.

AFP

Serie A: Abraham Stars As Roma Beat Atalanta

AS Roma’s British forward Tammy Abraham (back) jumps after scoring during their Italian Serie A football match between Atalanta and AS Roma at the Gewiss Stadium (Stadio di Bergamo) in the northern city of Bergamo on Decembre 18, 2021. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

 

Tammy Abraham struck twice as Roma ran out 4-1 winners at fancied Atalanta on Saturday, in the biggest win for Jose Mourinho since returning to Serie A.

English striker Abraham opened the scoring with less than a minute on the clock at the Gewiss Stadium and rounded off the match late on as Roma closed the gap between them and the Champions League places to five points.

“What a win, what else can I say? A lot of people doubted us today but this is by far one of the best wins we’ve had this season,” said Abraham to DAZN.

“We needed to win and what a win.”

Nicolo Zaniolo and Abraham’s countryman Chris Smalling also netted in an impressive win, their first against one of Italy’s top teams this season, which took them fifth and dented third-place Atalanta’s burgeoning title hopes.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side sit third, six points behind champions and league leaders Inter Milan who crushed Salernitana 5-0 on Friday.

They will drop to fourth if Napoli win at fellow title-chasers AC Milan on Sunday following a defeat in which they dominated proceedings for large spells but were punished by Roma who were clinical in a classic Mourinho style.

Roma’s goals came from five shots on target after having less than 30 percent possession and no corners.

“There was a great spirit. It’s clear that playing against Atalanta you can never be in control of the match for 90 minutes… the team was great in every department today,” said Mourinho, who won the treble with Inter in 2010.

“I think Inter are on another level to everyone else but to beat the top teams like Milan, Napoli and Atalanta you can’t just have good organisation or tactics, you need a certain type of character which we had today.”

Smash and grab

Roma took the lead in an odd fashion when, after charging into the box, Abraham poked a close-range finish which looped high off Marten de Roon and into the net.

The away side were pinned back in their own area for long periods but, like Villarreal who performed their own smash-and-grab in Bergamo a few days ago, Roma struck on the breakthrough the marauding Zaniolo to double their lead against the run of play in the 27th minute.

It was the Italy’s forward’s first Serie A goal since July last year.

Atalanta continued to push and got back into the game in first-half stoppage time when substitute Luis Muriel’s low drive took a wild deflection off Bryan Cristante and left Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio with no chance.

And the home fans thought they were set to witness a grandstand finish in the 68th minute when Duvan Zapata’s flick was touched home but Jose Luis Palomino was ruled offside by VAR after challenging for the ball with Cristante.

The decision infuriated Gasperini who raged to DAZN that the referee told him a Palomino goal had been ruled out even though the Argentine had not, in fact, touched the ball.

“If Palomino didn’t touch the ball, then why is it offside? If Cristante got the ball, then what difference does it make?” he asked.

“We would then have been level with 20 minutes to go, it’s a very different game.”

Four minutes later Smalling hit Atalanta with a sucker punch, meeting Jordan Veretout’s superb free-kick to jab home the third from close range.

Abraham made it six league goals for the season with eight minutes remaining, lashing home a powerful first-time finish after Veretout’s blocked shot fell to him perfectly in shooting range.

Juventus aim to get their season back up and running again later on Saturday as they travel to Bologna, while Cagliari try to get out of the relegation zone when they host Udinese in the day’s late match.

Roma Slump Continues With Shock Defeat At Venezia

Venezia players jubilate after beating Roma on November 7, 2021. Credit: Venezia FC

 

Roma’s worrying crash in form continued on Sunday with a shock 3-2 loss at Venezia, a fifth defeat for Jose Mourinho’s team just 12 games into the Serie A season.

Deservedly a goal ahead at half-time after Eldor Shomurodov and Tammy Abraham had scored following Mattia Caldara’s opener for promoted Venezia, Roma collapsed after a harsh penalty decision allowed Mattia Aramu to level with a 65th-minute spot-kick.

David Okereke’s neat finish with 16 minutes remaining on the banks of the Venetian Lagoon sank the club from the capital, who are now fifth and three points outside the Champions League places.

It was Roma’s fourth defeat in seven games in all competitions — a run which includes a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Norwegian outfit Bodo/Glimt — and came after wasting chances to extend their half-time lead.

“Unfortunately the rules are made by people who have never played or coached,” said Mourinho to DAZN.

“Usually in my experience at the end of the season you look at the decisions… things usually balance out, but after an accumulation of decisions you begin to think that it’s better just to keep quiet.”

The win for Paolo Zanetti’s Venezia moves them up to 14th on 12 points, three away from the relegation zone.

After taking the lead his team could have won by more, twice striking the bar through Caldara — via a brilliant Rui Patricio save — and Thomas Henry.

“Leaving aside the result, I have to be proud of my players because we played a very good team and we scored three times… and we created more than in many other matches,” Zanetti said to DAZN.

“The performance was there and it would have been disappointing not to bring home th result.”

Later league leaders Napoli host Verona before the weekend’s fixtures end with the first Milan derby of the season.

 

Verona Inflict First Loss On Mourinho’s Roma


Hellas Verona players celebrate after Hellas Verona’s Italian midfielder Davide Faraoni (unseen) scored a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Hellas Verona and AS Roma at the Marcantonio Bentegodi stadium in Verona, on September 19, 2021.
MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

 

Roma dropped their first points in Serie A under Jose Mourinho on Sunday as Verona came from behind to earn new coach Igor Tudor a 3-2 victory on his debut.

Lorenzo Pellegrini’s clever backheel flick gave visitors Roma a half-time lead in the pouring rain as they sought a fourth successive win to start the season.

Antonin Barak equalised for Verona shortly after the interval and Gianluca Caprari put the hosts ahead with a precise finish five minutes later.

Ivan Ilic turned a Pellegrini cross into his own goal to bring Roma level before the hour, but Davide Faraoni’s brilliant volley secured the win for Verona to halt a run of three straight losses.

Roma’s city rivals Lazio needed a late goal from Danilo Cataldi to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Cagliari.

Ciro Immobile struck for the fifth time in four games as Lazio went ahead just before the break.

Joao Pedro’s looping header pegged Lazio back right at the start of the second half, with Keita Balde then firing home against his former club to put Cagliari on top.

But the Sardinian club couldn’t hold on for victory in Walter Mazzarri’s first game in charge as Cataldi fired into the top corner seven minutes from time to rescue Lazio.

Venezia’s first Serie A home match since the 2001-02 season ended in a crushing 2-1 loss to Spezia.

Simone Bastoni curled in a sensational effort as Spezia grabbed an early lead at the Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo, an intriguing ground set on the south-eastern tip of Venice’s main archipelago.

Pietro Ceccaroni headed Venezia level on the hour but Mehdi Bourabia’s brilliant injury-time strike from distance earned Thiago Motta’s Spezia a first win.

AC Milan will attempt to bounce back from defeat in their first Champions League match since 2014 when they travel to fierce rivals Juventus later on Sunday.

Juve are trying to build on their 3-0 win at Malmo and crack Milan’s perfect start to the league campaign.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side were considered the pre-season favourites for the Scudetto but the sudden departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and only one draw to show from three matches has left them in disarray.

Juve are second from bottom and nine points behind defending champions and league leaders Inter Milan.

AFP

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham Completes $47 Million Move To Roma

Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on November 2, 2019. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Tammy Abraham has completed his move to Roma from Chelsea, the Serie A club announced on Monday, with the England forward joining former Blues boss Jose Mourinho in the Italian capital in a deal worth 40 million euros ($47 million).

In a statement, Roma said that Abraham had signed a five-year contract and that Chelsea would “retain the right to a percentage of any future transfer fee involving the striker”.

Italian media report that the 23-year-old, who will wear the number nine jersey left vacant by Edin Dzeko’s transfer to Inter Milan, will earn 4.5 million euros net each season.

“You can sense when a club really wants you –- and Roma made their interest clear immediately,” Abraham told the club website.

“Roma is a club that deserves to be fighting for titles and trophies. I’ve had the experience of winning major trophies and I want to be in those competitions again –- so I want to help this team to achieve that and get to the level where Roma should be.”

Abraham moves to Roma after Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea left him further down the pecking order at the club he joined as a young boy in 2004.

The European champions spent big money to lure Belgium striker Lukaku away from Inter as Thomas Tuchel largely ignored Abraham, who was brought into the senior team by previous coach Frank Lampard.

Mourinho, who knows Abraham from his second spell at Chelsea when the striker was still a prospect in the club’s academy, praised the forward’s decision to leave England at a crucial time in his career.

“Leaving the Premier League is always a hard decision for an English player, that tells me a lot about him because when you leave the Premier League you do it because you’re ambitious,” he said in a interview broadcast on Roma’s YouTube channel.

“You do it because you want to get back into the national team, to play at the World Cup, because you want success outside of England, where not that many English players have had brilliant careers.”

Abraham scored 30 times for Chelsea in all competitions after breaking through in 2019 but his most prolific league season as a professional came on loan in the second-tier Championship with Aston Villa, where he scored 25 goals in 2018-19.

He has played six times for England since making his debut in 2017, scoring his only goal against Montenegro in 2019.

AFP

Roma Coach Fonseca To Leave At End Of Season

Roma’s Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca looks on during the UEFA Europa League semi-final, first leg football match between Manchester United and Roma at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 29, 2021.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Paulo Fonseca will leave his job as Roma coach at the end of the season, the Serie A club confirmed on Tuesday.

“On behalf of everyone at AS Roma, we would like to thank Paulo Fonseca for his hard work and leadership over the past two years,” said chairman Dan Friedkin, who took over the club last summer.

“Paulo guided the team through many challenges, including the Covid pandemic and a change of ownership, and did so with selfless integrity and great character.”

According to media reports former Juventus, Napoli and Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is favourite to take over the three-time Italian champions who last won Serie A in 2001 and are trophyless since 2008.

Fonseca, 48, joined the club in 2019 on a two-year contract with the option for a third year if the club reached the Champions League next season.

The club finished fifth in Serie A last campaign and are currently seventh, nine points behind city rivals Lazio who sit sixth and have a game in hand.

Roma trail Premier League side Manchester United 6-2 going into Thursday’s second leg of their Europa League semi-final in the Italian capital.

“Over these last two years we have experienced a number of highs and lows, but I have always given my all for this club and this city — a city that has always been so welcoming,” said Fonseca.

“We still have some very important games in front of us this season that we want to win, and we will continue to give our all in order to do so.”

Fonseca replaced Claudio Ranieri, who had a brief spell as coach after Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked in January 2019.

Di Francesco had guided the club to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018.

Fonseca, a Portuguese national born in Mozambique, previously coached Shakhtar Donetsk where he won the league and cup double in all three seasons with the Ukrainian club.

He also won the Ukrainian Super Cup in 2017.

Fonseca has also coached Portuguese clubs including Pacos Ferreira, Braga and Porto.

-AFP

Smalling Joins Roma On Permanent Deal After 10 Years With Man United

Smalling spent 10 years in Manchester United. Photo: [email protected] Manchester United.

 

Chris Smalling has joined Italian side, Roma, on a permanent deal on Friday, after ten years with Manchester United. 

Roma have signed English defender Chris Smalling for 15 million euros (£13.5 million, $17.5 million) from Manchester United, the Serie A club confirmed on Monday.

In a statement, Roma said that the 30-year-old, who scored three goals in 37 appearances in all competitions on loan at the Italian club last season, has signed a deal that would keep him in the Italian capital until the end of June 2023.

Smalling had taken well to life in Rome and earned himself the nickname ‘Smalldini’ following commanding displays in the Roma defence.

“Nothing in life worth having comes easy,” Smalling said.

“My head and my heart has always been in Rome. I am delighted to now be yours. Daje (come on) Roma!”

The deal, which had dragged on for most of the transfer window and reportedly was only registered with barely any time to spare, includes a further five million euros in add-ons according to media reports.

Smalling was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2010 from Fulham, and went on to make 323 appearances for the club, scoring 18 goals.

Roma also announced that they had sold Argentine winger Diego Perotti to Turkish side Fenerbahce on transfer deadline day, ending his five-year spell at the club.

Earlier on Monday, United made their second signing of the window as Brazilian international left-back Alex Telles joined from Porto.

AFP