The Gunners are don to the bare bones at the back, with Mathieu Debuchy’s injury last weekend having reduced them to just five senior – Calum Chambers included – enforcers.
Smalling was a player Wenger wanted over the summer, but a proposed swap deal involving Thomas Vermaelen collapsed with the Red Devils having been reluctant to sell their England international to a rival.
But Wenger has since remained keen on him, and has been buoyed by Louis van Gaal’s move back to a four-man backline.
The Frenchman is hopeful that Smalling is no longer seen as a vital cog on LVG’s machine, and that a deal in the New Year may be possible.
The versatile former Fulham man can operate at right-back or at the heart of the defence, which would provide much needed cover at the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger is also understood to have made inquired about the availability of Phil Jones during the last transfer window.
[ffcvideo file=”TopFiveVideosoftheWeek” type=”mp4″]