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Ex-Roma chief Petrachi: I couldn't believe Man Utd made Smalling so cheap

Former Roma football chief Gianluca Petrachi is amazed by how cheaply they were able to sign Chris Smalling from Manchester United.

Smalling was deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford last summer and joined the Serie A side on loan for a fee of under £3m. After returning to Manchester he ended up joining permanently for an initial £13m.

"We were trying to sign Dejan Lovren (from Liverpool ), but I did not want to spend so much on a player with a groin problem," Petrachi told Corriere dello Sport.

"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."


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