Last updated 8 months ago | By Mirror
Arsenal are leading a clutch of Premier League clubs who want to bring on loan Roma star Chris Smalling back to English football next summer.
The Gunners watched Smalling shut out Serie A title-chasers Inter Milan in a 0-0 draw at the San Siro on Friday – with England boss Gareth Southgate and his number two Steve Holland also in Milan to check out the Manchester United star.
It’s believed Everton and Leicester are also keeping tabs on Smalling who lost his place at Old Trafford after the arrival of £80 million Three Lions star Harry Maguire in the summer.
Arsenal have kept regular checks on Smalling since his year-long loan move to Roma with Juventus and Inter both impressed by his Serie A performances.
The 29-year-old defender is due back at United in the summer but it’s unlikely he’ll be staying with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to promote 22-year-old home-grown centre back Axel Tuanzebe.
Smalling cost £10 million when he joined from Fulham in 2010 and United have slapped an £18 million valuation on the experienced star. Southgate dumped Smalling from the England squad a year before the 2018 World Cup in Russia. His last game was the 2-2 World Cup draw against Scotland at Hampden Park in June 2017 but Southgate is assessing his defensive options ahead of Euro 2020 next summer – and Smalling is back in the frame.
Southgate has struggled to find a regular partner for Maguire with Michael Keane losing his place to Tyrone Mings in the last round of qualifiers.
John Stones is likely to be first-choice alongside the Manchester United man but has struggled for form and fitness.