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Arsenal leading Premier League clubs chasing transfer of Man Utd's Chris Smalling

Last updated 8 months ago | By Mirror

Chris Smalling in action for Roma. [Courtesy]

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.

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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.

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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.