Arsenal have made an enquiry to Manchester United regarding a deal for centre back Chris Smalling this summer, according to a reports coming out of Italy.
The defender has spent the 2019/20 season on loan with Serie A outfit AS Roma after falling out of favour at Old Trafford.
It appeared that his career was on a downward trajectory after being deemed surplus to requirements by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however Smalling was has rediscovered his form and impressed in his 28 appearances for the club so far, with his style of play fitting in well in Serie A.
Smalling has previously admitted that he is unsure what his next move will be, although it has been said that Roma are keen on extending his stay at the Stadio Olimpico beyond the end of the current campaign.
However, a report in Corriere dello Sport, cited in the Evening Standard, suggests that they will face competition for his signature after Arsenal stepped up their interest in the 30-year-old and made contact with the Red Devils over a potential deal.
Last week it was reported that the Gunners were considering a move for Smalling, but also had their eyes on Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti.
However, it would now appear that they have decided to focus on securing the Englishman’s services as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his back line for next year.
The London club have conceded 36 goals in 28 Premier League games this term, and have kept just three clean sheets since Arteta took charge in December following the sacking of Unai Emery.
Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari are the Spaniard’s current options, but it is thought some of those will be allowed to leave the club in order for upgrades to be recruited.
Dayot Upamecano, John Stones and Dejan Lovren are just some of the other names to have been linked.
The Gunners will also have William Saliba to call on with the Frenchman, who was signed last summer, set to return from his loan spell with Saint-Etienne.
Arsenal will face competition for Smalling, with fellow Premier League teams Tottenham, Everton and Leicester said to be weighing up a move for the former England international, who will cost around £18million.
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