Arsenal lead race for Manchester United's £18m-rated reject

Arsenal lead race for Manchester United's £18m-rated reject

Arsenal are reportedly leading a host of clubs in the race for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling. 

The defender has largely impressed at Italian side AS Roma after he was deemed surplus at Old Trafford in the summer. 

Manchester United signed Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka during the last transfer window, and with the likes of Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, and Phil Jones still, at the club, Smalling's time might be coming to an end. 

His form in the opening matches in Serie A has caught the attention of a host of clubs across Europe, including Juventus, Leicester and Everton. 

However, according to Sunday People, the Gunners will be keen on snapping up the 30-year-old, who is valued at  £18m.

The Gunners are leaky at the back and have struggled in recent weeks, with the available options not up to task.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown recently urged Gunners bosses to put a deal together for the England international, who might get a call-up to the national team as Gareth Southgate and company watched him against Roma on Friday night. 

“Smalling is doing exceptionally well - £13 million, the price they are putting on his head, that’s not enough," Keown said on BT Sport.

"Arsenal could maybe do worse than to take him."

Roma too have an option of turning the loan deal into a permanent deal in the summer, and the option might intersest United, who might not want to strengthen a direct opponent.