Manchester United should use Smalling as bait to land Koscielny

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Arsenal were last week linked with making a surprise move for Manchester United's Chris Smalling as Arsene Wenger is said to be monitoring the defender's situation at Old Trafford. 

Smalling is yet to really progress into an established Manchester United centre-back as he has instead been forced into deputising for Rafael when the Brazilian has been out injured or missing through suspension. 

The rumours came about during the same week that France international Laurent Koscielny was mooted to be considering his future at the Emirates Stadium. 

Manchester United are among several clubs thought to be keeping a close tab on the highly-rated defender as they are currently scouring the market for a replacement for the outgoing Nemanja Vidic. 

Koscielny would be able to fill the gigantic boots left by a player who has been a revelation for Manchester United since joining the north-west side in January 2006 for a mere £7million. 

Manchester United's new boss - whoever that may be - will need an established centre-back to play alongside Phil Jones next season - and Koscielny could just be the defender to strike up a steady partnership with the England international. 

A deal which would suit both parties could be struck in the summer due to Arsenal's intent on signing Smalling and Manchester United's apparent interest in Koscielny.

Manchester United would have to tempt Wenger into accepting a swap deal by offering Arsenal a fee in the range of £10million as well as £12million-rated Smalling. 

The Arsenal boss could be inclined to agree to such a deal due to Smalling's age as compared to Koscielny's. 

Smalling could play at the heart of Arsenal's defence for the next 10-12 years as he is only 24 - whereas Koscielny will turn 29 later this year. 

In fact, Wenger is a known admirer of Smalling as he tried to sign the former Fulham defender back in 2010 - but was pipped to his signature by his old foe, Sir Alex Ferguson. 

A swap deal which would see Smalling and Koscielny trade places would provide Wenger with the chance to finally land his man and aid Manchester United in their search to add some stability to their back four following Vidic's move to Inter Milan. 

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Laurent Koscielny
Chris Smalling
Manchester United
Premier League

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