Manchester United have rejected Everton’s offer to take defender Chris Smalling on loan with the centre-back set to stay put at Old Trafford.
The transfer window in England shuts down tomorrow, and there could be plenty of frenzy deals on the cards. Everton are proving to be one of the most active Premier League sides in the window, and they will be hoping to conclude a few deals before the transfer deadline. However, according to BBC, Everton’s offer to take Chris Smalling on loan has been rejected by Manchester United.
The rejection would come as a big blow for Marco Silva and Everton as they were hoping to add a central defender to their ranks before the transfer deadline. They have been in pursuit of many players so far this summer, with Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma their top target. However, new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard considers Zouma a key member of his side with the Blues enduring a transfer embargo.
This is their second rejection in a flurry after Arsenal rejected their £30 million bid for winger Alex Iwobi. By the looks of it, Silva has given up hope of signing Zouma and switched his attention elsewhere. Turning from the youth of Zouma, Silva now wants an experienced player, and Smalling fits the bill.
Accordingly, Everton made an offer to Manchester United to take Smalling on a season-long loan, but this approach has been outright rejected.
There were concerns over Smalling’s future at Old Trafford following the arrival of Harry Maguire in a world-record deal for a defender. Maguire is understood to be a guaranteed starter when the season gets underway. However, there are too many defenders at Manchester United to occupy one or possibly two spots in the team.
Marcus Rojo, Eric Bailly, Viktor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones are the other players playing for two or three positions in the side. Considering how manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferred Smalling over the others in central defence in the second half of last season, it does look like the England International will be an integral part to the Norwegian’s plans this season.
This is why United do not want to offload their current longest-serving player. It is understood that Solskjaer will deploy either a back four or back-three during this season. Either way, there is a place for smalling expected alongside Maguire and/or Lindelof.
Of the other options for United at the back, Bailly is currently out injured for the next three months, and Rojo is widely expected to leave the side. Meanwhile Tuanzebe could move out on loan before deadline day. With all those issues and potential departures, Smalling might be able to find ample playing time in the coming season.
As for Everton, they need to act fast in finding a viable central defender before tomorrow’s deadline. With their options far and few after several rejections, they might have to settle with what they have right now. Alternatively, they can go all out on deadline day to get a deal over the line.