Arsenal are lining up a surprise move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

Goal believe Arsene Wenger is planning to launch a summer bid for Smalling as he looks to freshen up his defensive options ahead of next season’s campaign.

The Frenchman is currently scouring the transfer market for possible replacements as he could lose experienced duo Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen in the summer.

And reports suggest Wenger has identified Manchester United’s Smalling as the man to fill the void left by both Sagna and Vermaelen due to his versatility.

Smalling is capable of playing at centre-back or right-back which makes him a superb option for the north London side.

Arsenal came close to landing Smalling back in 2010, however the now 24-year-old chose to swap Craven Cottage for Old Trafford rather than the Emirates Stadium.

Smalling’s initial snub has not not deterred Wenger from making a second attempt to sign the England international as he is said to be stepping up his pursuit of the Manchester United defender.

Arsenal are said to be willing to fork out £12million on Smalling - the fee Manchester United paid for his services four years ago - and will also match his current £52,000-a-week wages.

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