Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in signing Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.
According to Mike McGrath of The Sun, Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur have joined North London rivals Arsenal in the race to secure the services of Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling in the summer.
The 27-year-old fell down the pecking order this past season under Jose Mourinho, with the likes of Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind were the Portuguese managers go-to options at the heart of defence.
However, the former Chelsea coach was unhappy with the centre-backs he had at his disposal, and made Swedish defender Victor Lindelof his first signing of the summer. After being linked with him for several months, Mourinho must have been relieved to put the saga to bed.
The former Benfica defender was signed for a staggering sum which was slightly above the £30 million mark. Due to his heavy fee, it is likely that Mourinho sees the player as a first-team regular, and is expected to line him alongside Eric Bailly.
Lindelof’s arrival has further derailed Smalling’s chances of regaining a spot in the playing eleven for Manchester United, and he is probably of the opinion that his time at the club has come to an end.
Fellow Premier League side Arsenal have signed unwanted Manchester United players in the past, with Danny Welbeck, Mikael Silvestre and Jim Leighton being among a few of them.
It is likely that Smalling could follow suit and move to the Emirates as Arsene Wenger is intent on strengthening his defence for next season, and sees a home-grown centre-back in Smalling as the man to address the woes on the defensive end.
However, it now seems that they will be facing stiff competition from another English side, and it is none other than their local rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is looking to provide cover for Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, and Smalling fits the bill for him.
The Argentine has Kevin Wimmer, who he has turned to when needed, while Eric Dier has also slotted in to play as a central defender. But, there is a dire need for Pochettino to sign another centre-back, and the Englishman could be on his way to London.
On his day, the 27-year-old is one of United’s top players as he is a good tackler of the ball and also adept at reading the play. Smalling’s ability to play out of the back with a calm and composed frame of mind will also be useful for Pochettino.
That being said, his glimpses of brilliance in football matches are few and far between, and often makes the headlines for the wrong reasons. He appears to lack confidence playing under Mourinho, and a move away from the club could help him bring his career back on the right track.