Arsenal want Man United ace in swap deal

Arsenal are pushing to get Chris Smalling as a part of a deal for Thomas Vermaelen to move to Manchester United, according to reports from The Metro.

The Gunners captain looks set to switch to Old Trafford in the coming weeks after falling down the pecking order in north London, with rumours suggesting that an £11m deal has been all but secured for some time.

However, it is now understood that Arsene Wenger is backtracking in a bid to get Smalling thrown into the mix.

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The Frenchman is a big fan of the England international, and sees him as a wise addition with the losses of Bacary Sagna and, potentially, Vermaelen.

The former Fulham youngster is able to play at centre-back or full-back, which is the sort of versatility the Emirates Stadium chief believes will boost his side’s hopes for the season.

United may indeed sanction the deal with their need for a new central defender well known following the exits of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

Louis van Gaal may also switch to a 3-5-2 formation using wing-backs, which might mot favour Smalling’s skill set.