Chris Smalling is likely to seal an exit from Old Trafford this summer as Burnley, Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Stoke City are reportedly keen on a deal
According to a report by TransferMarketWeb, Chris Smalling could leave Manchester United as clubs like Burnley, Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Stoke City have registered their interest. West Brom have also been keeping a close eye on the defender but it looks like the race to sign him is starting to heat up.
Smalling endured a below par campaign in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge at Manchester United, with injuries and poor form restricting his playing time. He recorded 35 appearances but failed to make much of an impression on the Portuguese boss
Even when he is fit, Smalling is understood to be behind Phil Jones in the pecking, along with Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo whenever they’re available.
Smalling has also had to be at the receiving end of a lot of public backlash from Mourinho on several occasions due to lack of focus. The Manchester United boss especially criticized the player for not pushing himself to recover from his injuries faster to help out the team.
However, with Victor Lindelof a part of the Manchester United squad now, Smalling’s exit seems almost certain. Four clubs are believed to be interested in a deal for the once-promising player and it is highly likely that he will join one of them this summer.
Michael Keane has left Burnley to join Everton this summer, and Smalling can prove to be top notch replacement for the former Manchester United defender at Turf Moor. Although he may not be a like-for-like alternative, Smalling can still prove to be quite resourceful at the back.
At Leicester, the ageing presence of Robert Huth and captain Wes Morgan proved to be detrimental to the club’s fortunes last season. Smalling has, thus, emerged as a viable target, although the player will have to be vary of picking up new injuries since that will only amplify Leicester’s troubles.
Crystal Palace and Stoke City are both in need of defensive reinforcements as well, which means that Smalling will have a regular spot and chances of playing often if he joins either of these clubs.
With that in mind, he will need to come to a decision soon. But prior to that, the player really needs to ensure he works on his fitness and form to still have a future with Manchester United future, something that he is sure to have a longing for.