Arsenal are willing to pay £10 million for Chris Smalling - but Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will block the move, according to the Daily Star.
The Gunners have suffered a major defensive injury crisis this season and are looking to bolster their ranks. They were linked with a move for Smalling over the summer, and reportedly tried to have him involved in Thomas Vermaelen's switch to Manchester United but the deal didn't come off, with Vermaelen joining Barcelona instead.
Now it seems as though Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants to go back in for Smalling in the January window, and is willing to offer up to £10 million in order to get his man. However that is not enough to convince Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal to sell to a direct Premier League rival, and the Dutchman will block the move.
The Star add that Van Gaal is not entirely convinced by Smalling who earned a careless red card in Manchester United's recent derby defeat against Manchester City, but will make his mind up on the England international at the end of the season.
Another factor for the Red Devils' reluctance to do a deal is their own worries at the back. Van Gaal has seen his back line decimated by injuries this season, and Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Rafael and Marcos Rojo are all currently sidelined.
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Goalkeeper David de Gea dislocated a finger while on international duty on Friday, and it's not yet known if he will miss any games for Manchester United.
For Arsenal they will now be forced to look for a new defender elsewhere. They've been linked with Mats Hummels on a regular basis, but it is unlikely that the Borussia Dortmund will let their captain leave in January.