Jose Mourinho was prepared to sell Smalling over the summer, with Arsenal named as one of the interested parties, but ultimately decided to keep the 28-year-old amid uncertainty surrounding Marcos Rojo‘s return date.
The Englishman begun the campaign behind Phil Jones and Eric Bailly in the pecking order but a long-term injury to the latter has given him plenty of minutes in recent times, playing eight games over December.
But according to The Gambling Times’ Graeme Bailey, Arsenal have asked Manchester United about the availability of Smalling this month after seemingly losing out on Jonny Evans, who would prefer a move to Manchester City.
Smalling can often send jitters down the spines of supporters whenever he gets the ball at his feet, and can, from time to time, end up in a poor position and susceptible to strikers of the Jamie Vardy mould.
But he is someone who has been part of the Man United furniture for some time and his looming presence in the box has been crucial for some time. And Mourinho, with Bailly still injured and Victor Lindelof only a bit-part influence at this point, will be in no mind to let him go anywhere this month.