Chris Smalling 'surprised' by Jose Mourinho reunion at Roma after Manchester United spell

Jose Mourinho is taking charge of Serie A side Roma and his former Man Utd defender Smalling is among those in his squad.

Former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has expressed his surprise at his reunion with Jose Mourinho at Roma, but is excited about his new boss.

Smalling has been in Italy since joining the Serie A side in 2019, initially on loan before making his switch to the Italian capital permanent the following year.

Meanwhile, Mourinho spent time with Tottenham since his dismissal from Old Trafford but saw his spell in north London end earlier this year.

The experienced Portuguese boss has not been out of the game for long though, and has now returned to Italy — a decade after his treble-winning glory with Inter Milan.

His move to Roma sees him reunite with Smalling (and another ex United player in Henrikh Mkhitaryan) and, while the pair may have had a relationship that was tricky at times during their spell together at United, Smalling only has positive thoughts about the reunion.

"Ultimately, if the manager wasn't speaking about you and didn't want you to play and push, that is when you need to worry because he has stopped caring about you, he doesn't want you involved and he doesn't want you to play," he told BBC Sport.

"He is a born winner. He likes to push everyone to the limits. That is what he has done throughout his career and it has reaped results.

"It was quite a surprise to a lot of us, but there was initial excitement from everyone. I knew the media would build up something about our relationship in the past. But from a personal point of view, it is a good thing because I have played under him.

"We have won trophies together. He made me captain in one of those finals - the 2017 EFL Cup final - as well, so having the chance to play under someone who you know is good, has been so successful and is so determined to win trophies at all costs is a positive.

"I know how big a deal it would be to bring a trophy of some sort to the club. Jose's history shows the club has picked the perfect man to do that."