According to the Daily Star, Manchester United have slapped a £25m price tag on defender Chris Smalling, amid interest from Arsenal. The English international has been a long-term target of the Gunners and could be the subject of another approach come the end of the season.
Smalling, signed from Fulham in 2010, has been a regular at the heart of the United defence this season, making 19 Premier League appearances, but his form has been inconsistent. The 28-year-old is out of contract in less than 18 months, and he may struggle getting an extension unless he improves.
Arsenal remain interest nevertheless and could be willing to pay £25m to land the centre-back. Arsene Wenger has long been keen on signing Smalling, having requested him many years ago when United were linked with Thomas Vermaelen.
The price might be steep, however, as Arsenal passed on £30m for West Brom’s Jonny Evans last month. The Northern Ireland international could be available for £3m in the summer if Albion go down too, and they’re currently bottom of the Premier League.
Smalling might not be first choice on the list as a result, but United have made it clear the £80k-per-week defender won’t be leaving for cheap if suitors make an official approach in the coming months.