Arsenal eyeing shock move for Chris Smalling

Smalling made a fool of himself against Manchester City. (©GettyImages)

Arsene Wenger has renewed his interest in Manchester United defender Chris Smalling ahead of the January transfer window, reports The Mirror.

The Arsenal boss has been forced to shuffle his defence around to deal with a concerning injury crisis. Mathieu Debuchy was the first to go, succumbing to ankle ligament damage and is expect to be out until late December.

There is also growing concern that Laurent Koscielny's Achilles injury could be much more serious and Per Mertesacker will soon be on the wrong side of 30.

Sensing the opportunity

With Wenger growingly desperate for defensive reinforcements, Smalling has remerged as a target for the January window. The news comes as a direct result of reports that Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is considering whether or not to let him go.

Smalling is not the most popular figure around Old Trafford at the moment after getting himself sent off in ridiculous circumstances against Manchester City. Two yellow cards in quick succession made City's task a much simpler task than it threatened to be.

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Evidently, the performance has failed to put Wenger off, who tried and failed to sign Smalling in the summer transfer window. The Frenchman reportedly wanted the England international included in a swap deal with Thomas Vermaelen.

Van Gaal rejected the proposal, allowing Barcelona to sign the Arsenal captain in a £15 million deal. Sensing he may now have an opportunity, Wenger appears willing to pay straight cash for the centre-back when the window reopens in the new year.

While Smalling has hardly covered himself in glory recently, he would be an elegant solution to Arsenal's defensive woes.

Elegant solution

Wenger admitted earlier on Tuesday that he was unsure when Koscielny would be available again and it is growingly obvious that Nacho Monreal is not as capable at centre-back as the manager would have hoped.

Meanwhile Van Gaal has seen Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair impress. With the two youngsters boosting the ranks, losing Smalling to the Gunners may not be the unpalatable prospect it seemed in August.

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