Roma and former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been involved in a horrific home invasion and armed robbery by three suspected assailants on Friday morning.
According to reports from Italian sports media, Gazzetta dello Sport, the three armed suspects broke into the footballer’s home, forcing him to open his safe at gun point in front of his wife and two-year -old son.
The robbers made away with Rolex, jewelries and other valuable items.
The media outlet also claims Smalling’s wife , Sam called the police at 5 am who rushed to the scene of the crime to find the family distraught.
The Englishman was left out of the second leg Europa league quarter-final clash against Ajax due to a nagging knee discomfort for which he was recuperating at his villa in Rome.
While investigations are still on-going, AS Roma have declared their complete support for the defender and his family.
The Smallings live in the Appia Antica area, which is popular for its archaeological relics and numerous luxury villas in private gardens owned by celebrities.
Because these villas are somewhat isolated, security concerns have been on the rise recently.
Smalling made his move to Roma on loan in 2019 before signing a three year permanent deal in 2020 for €15 million fee, potentially rising to €20 million with add-on fees.
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.
Coach Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will both start in central defence for Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League game against FC Basel on Tuesday night.
The Reds return to European’s top competition by welcoming the Swiss champions to Old Trafford for the first Group A match.
According to manutd.com, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, who have started all four of the club’s Premier League games this season, will both miss the match as a result of UEFA bans.
Mourinho said after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Stoke City that he was impressed with Jones so far this term and that the player would get the chance to have a well-earned rest after also playing twice for England during the international break.
“He’s playing well for us. He’s probably tired of two consecutive matches with the national team but he cannot play on Tuesday,” Mourinho said in his post-match press conference.
“So, it’s good that on Tuesday he gets his rest and it’s an opportunity for Smalling and Lindelof to play the Champions League match.”
It will be Smalling and Lindelof’s first starts for United since the UEFA Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid in August.