Manchester United are reportedly planning a contract extension for Chris Smalling, who has managed to command a regular role under manager Jose Mourinho this term. The England international started the season on the substitutes’ bench with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof featuring in central defence but he has since returned to the first XI in the former’s expense.
According to The Star, the Mancunian giants are scheduled to hold discussions with Smalling over a new contract in the forthcoming months with his existing deal due to expire at the end of the campaign.
The former Fulham graduate has previously caught the eye of Premier League rivals Arsenal but they have, however, been unable to acquire his services with the Red Devils having no intention to sanction his sale.
Over the years, Smalling has receiving criticism from his own supporters for his poor performance every now and then but he has nevertheless improved on his consistency to become a vital member of Mourinho’s squad.
As such, he has managed to command a starting role in each of the previous five matches for United across all competitions but there nevertheless remains a concern at the heart of the backline which Mourinho may seek to resolve in January.
The Portuguese tactician was largely left frustrated during the summer transfer window after the club fail to pursue a central defender and the priority could remain the same when the transfer market becomes active at the turn of the year.
Nonetheless, The Star claims that Smalling’s future won’t be hampered by the recruitment of another central defender, though Mourinho may consider the position of other players occupying the same role.
Marcos Rojo was regularly linked with a possible move away from Old Trafford during the summer and he could potentially be the odd-man out, though his current knee injury concerns may reduce his transfer valuation.
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