Chris Smalling is set to snub a move to Arsenal and pen a new contract with Manchester United, according to the Evening Standard.
The England international's contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of next season, and it had been claimed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was looking at making a move in the summer.
The Standard say that Smalling is set to be rewarded for his good form this season with a contract that reflects his newfound status as one of Manchester United's regular starters.
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Just this morning the Telegraph claimed that Arsenal were lining up a £12 million bid for the defender, hoping to pounce on the doubt over his future. However the Red Devils will tie him down with a long-term deal to avoid that happening as soon as possible.
The Gunners missed out to Manchester United when Smalling left Fulham back in 2010, and it seems the same will happen once again.
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It seemed as though Wenger wanted to bring in Smalling as a potential replacement for Per Mertesacker, who has come in for criticism this season, particularly in the aftermath of the Gunners' Champions League last-16 defeat against Monaco.
Manchester United's form appears to have turned a corner in recent games and they seem well on course to secure Champions League football. They've recorded consecutive wins over top four rivals Liverpool and Tottenham which has put space between them in fourth place and their rivals.
Smalling's defensive partner Phil Jones says he's glad that Manchester United have turned a corner.
“We have proved people wrong,” said Jones. “People can assume and predict and it is up to us to prove them all wrong. People criticising does spur you on. You are always going to get critics.
“We are at a massive club here at Manchester United and if things aren’t going as well as they should be then there is always going to be people wanting to have a dig and a pop at you. We just take it on the chin. It is water off a duck’s back to us. If we continue to produce performances like this week and last then I am sure we will be fine.”
Chris Smalling has slowly but surely emerged with credit at Manchester United this season, just has their form has started to improve.
When Arsenal were first interested in Smalling many of their fans reacted with disdain, but the fact of the matter is that he would be an improvement on their options now. However they may now have to look elsewhere for options to replace Per Mertesacker.
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