According to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Tottenham Hotspur are plotting a move to sign Manchester United flop Chris Smalling this summer following a string of impressive performances on loan to Roma this campaign.
It’s believed that the north Londoners have already spoken to the 30-year-old’s agent as well as his parent club as they aim to beat Everton to his signature ahead of next season.
Utd’s executive vice-chairman and de facto chief executive Ed Woodward has reportedly set his price tag at €20m (£16.6m).
It is also claimed that Spurs can offer a considerably better financial packet than Roma, but Smalling would ideally like to remain in Italy if possible.
This would be quite the dubious raid if Daniel Levy and co can pull it off considering the history between the centre-back and current Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.
Smalling was publicly questioned by the Portuguese manager during his two-year stint at Old Trafford, essentially criticising him for an apparent unwillingness to play through the pain barrier.
“It’s not just about them. It’s about the philosophy and mentality around them,” he said about Smalling and Jones in April 2017 and after being asked to elaborate, he added: “cautious, cautious, cautious.”
Mourinho then argued that Smalling needed to “be brave – to [take a] risk – because for the team you have to do everything.”
Within a month of these comments, the Englishman responded and vowed to prove his manager wrong, and after the 57-year-old was sacked, Smalling launched a small dig at Mourinho as he claimed that confidence had dropped under his stewardship whereas Ole Gunnar Solksjaer had brought back a feel-good factor, as per an interview with the Times.
Therefore, a move for the centre-back would ultimately be a strange one given their past, although it could possibly hint towards a change in attitude from the new Spurs boss.
Smalling played 100 times under Mourinho, more than any other manager, so you’d imagine there’s no one that knows him better.