Chris Smalling in line to receive new contract at Manchester United – report

by Leo Nieboer

Chris Smalling is set to be handed an extension on his current deal at Manchester United this season, according to reports.

The defender made more appearances than any other central defender under Jose Mourinho last season and has been one of the club’s best performers during the early stages of the 2018/19 campaign.

His current deal expires at the end of this season but the club have an option to extend his contract by another year.

And according to the Daily Star‘s Adrian Stiles, Mourinho admires the defender and is keen to see Smalling’s long-term future at Old Trafford assured before the season ends.

Smalling has never been a player who enjoyed the full and unadulterated support of Man United supporters. The defender is not the quickest along the ground and is prone to the odd positional mistake in the box – often from set pieces.

But he is, during this turbulent time, one of the constants in this team. Mourinho, as of yet, cannot rely on any other defender to be constantly fit. Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly seem incapable of putting a run of games together.

Smalling, on the other hand, can be counted on week after week. That alone shouldn’t justify a new contract, but then again: these are testing times as a United fan.

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