Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could be set to axe defender Chris Smalling this summer with Premier League duo West Ham and West Brom leading the way in landing a deal, according to reports from The Sun.
Having grown increasingly frustrated with Smalling throughout his first season as manager at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho is ready to cut ties and cash in on the defender this summer.
Along with Luke Shaw, the former Fulham man, who is rated at £17m, has faced the brunt of Mourinho’s criticism this season with the Portuguese having accused him of being “too cautious” when returning from injury.
With the Red Devils boss supposedly fed up, both West Ham and West Brom are plotting to profit from his decision and bolster their own ranks.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has had a number of issues to contend with in their first season at London Stadium and will look to rectify that with a wealth of Premier League experience in the summer window, whereas Tony Pulis could look to engineer a United reunion of Jonny Evans and Smalling at The Hawthorns.
Before falling down the pecking order under the guise of Mourinho, Smalling had grown into one of the key men during Louis van Gaal’s time at Old Trafford, and could well be again given the chance.
Mourinho has been forced to chop and change at the back all season long, with summer signing Eric Bailly missing vast spells of the term through injury.
However, given the time to build a partnership alongside one-and-other Smalling and Bailly have the potential to build a firm central pairing for the Red Devils.
Although, if Mourinho does want to sell, there will be no shortage of suitors lining up to strike a deal.