With Arsene Wenger planning to bolster his defence in the summer, Manchester United’s Chris Smalling has emerged as a supposed transfer target for the Gunners, although the north-Londoners will have to break the bank if they’re to land the centre-half, as the Red Devils – according to a report published by Daily Star – have allegedly slapped a £25m price-tag on his head.
Smalling caught United’s eye during his spell at Fulham, and since his arrival at the club in 2010, the England international has racked up 274 appearances and has two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one EFL Cup, one Europa League trophy and three Community Shields to his distinguished name.
It’s believed that Jose Mourinho is planning a squad overhaul in readiness for the 2018-19 campaign and Smalling, who has been on United’s books since 2010, is said to be one of the club’s stars which is to be shown the exit door at Old Trafford, in order to create space for new recruits.
It’s also said that United are using Arsenal’s interest in West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans as a marker for their respective valuation, as the Baggies will seek to recoup a similar figure for their Northern Irish centre-back, if he’s to depart The Hawthorns at the end of the season.
Arsenal were supposedly tailing Evans’ signature in January, and it’s presumed that the club will continue their pursuit of the 30-year-old, who has a release clause of just £3m in his current contract at West Brom.
Speaking earlier this month about his ambition to reinforce his defensive contingent, Wenger said:
“Our defensive numbers aren’t good enough. We needed strengthening because we have to improve our defensive numbers to make the top four.
“I will adapt to the difficulties we face and must see how the idea I have works. We are flexible – we can play with a back three or four.”
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