Chris Smalling has criticised the way he was treated by Manchester United during his final days at the club, saying he was “left in a very s*** situation”.
Smalling, a two-time Premier League winner with United, made over 300 appearances for the club before his eventual switch to Roma.
However, Smalling claims United showed little regard for him as they shunted him out the back door, leaving the defender 24 hours to seal his transfer.
“I was just a bit frustrated. One, I would like to have been told earlier and then, secondly, I was only able to go with just a day left of the Italian window being open,' Smalling told the Telegraph.
“I knew that my days under Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) were pretty much numbered.
The English window had shut. I was left in a very s*** situation. I had to decide. After I had that chat [with Solskjaer] it was a case of, ‘I'm not sure when your next game will be.’
On paper, the transfer should have been a straight-forward one for Smalling. He’d impressed Roma throughout the 2019-20 season, so a permanent deal appeared to make sense for a player deemed disposable at Old Trafford.
Man Utd had splashed £80 million on Harry Maguire and installed the former Leicester defender as captain, and Solskjaer also had Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones in his squad.
However, as time ticked toward the October 5 deadline, Smalling had to wait for his move despite clear intent from Roma to get the deal done.
“In an ideal situation I would have known early in the summer and made plans and it almost got to the stage where I had a day left,' Smalling said.
“My wife had just had a kid as well. There was a lot going on that happened at the last minute.”
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Injury has limited Smalling to four appearances for Roma so far this season, but they find themselves positioned fourth in the table, ahead of Juventus and only three points behind leaders Milan.
United, by contrast, sit 14th in the Premier League and are struggling for home form under Solskjaer, yet to win at Old Trafford this season.
Smalling’s insight into how his transfer was handled will do nothing to improve the view of CEO Ed Woodward’s stewardship of the club.
Ed Woodward tried and failed to sign Jadon Sancho in the summer.
Image credit: Getty Images
The big Jadon Sancho transfer, which rumbled all summer without coming to fruition, appeared to take up too much of United’s time in what was a frustrating transfer window. Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles arrived on deadline day, but no Plan B for Sancho was found.
United’s outgoings also hit stumbling blocks. Goalkeeper Sergio Romero and defender Marcos Rojo were both targeted for the exit door, but the deadline came and went with both players still on the United payroll.
Smalling nearly suffered a similar fate, and Friday’s interview is another unwanted piece of bad press for Woodward and his maligned transfer dealings at the club.