Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has reportedly emerged as a shock summer target for Leicester City.

According to a report by The Mirror, Leicester City are interested in a move for Chris Smalling before the transfer window slams shut. The Foxes have already added Harry Maguire to their ranks, but it seems like manager Craig Shakespeare is intent on adding an experienced player to his backline.

Chris 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 order, along with Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo whenever they’re available. The current season, in fact, saw Jones unleash his true potential – a fact that will only spell further trouble for the 27-year-old.

Smalling also had to be at the receiving end of a lot of public backlash from Mourinho on several occasions due to lack of focus in the previous campaign. The Manchester United boss especially criticized the player for not pushing himself to recover from his injuries faster to help out the team.

Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling (R) heads the ball in to score their second goal during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on January 29, 2017. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Looking towards a future at the King Power stadium? (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Additionally, with Victor Lindelof a part of the Manchester United squad now, Smalling’s exit seems almost certain. There is not much he can do to win a spot back in the starting XI for United. Mourinho will be quite pleased with the way the Red Devils have performed so far this season, meaning he is unlikely to risk playing the defender anytime.

Meanwhile, at Leicester City, the ageing presence of Robert Huth and captain Wes Morgan proved to be detrimental to the club’s fortunes last season. The Foxes had a dreadful season last time, but look a lot more promising in the 2017/18 campaign.

Harry Maguire will prove to be a quality addition, but Shakespeare is understandably seeking an experienced back-up. 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 his troubles.

However, Smalling will be better off moving away from Old Trafford given his present situation as it is unlikely he will get to play often. A lack of regular game time will hamper his chances to feature for England at the World Cup in Russia next year – something he will not be happy to risk.

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