Manchester United plan Smalling contract talks

The Old Trafford club want the England international, who had attracted interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal, to commit to a long-term deal worth £70,000-a-week

By Paul Clennam

Manchester United want to sit down with Chris Smalling in the next few weeks to discuss a new five-year contract, Goal can reveal.

As exclusively revealed by Goal, the versatile defender had been monitored by Arsenal for several months as they looked for defensive cover.

The Gunners wanted to include Smalling in a deal which would have taken Thomas Vermaelen to Old Trafford, but United rejected the Gunners's offer and the Belgian opted for a move to Barcelona.

And now United are planning to offer the England international an improved long-term deal worth £70,000-a-week.

Smalling has less than two years remaining on his current deal and United want to secure his future at the club.

The 24-year-old made 39 appearances in all competitions for United under David Moyes last season and earned a place in Roy Hodgson's England World Cup squad.

Smalling also played the full 90 minutes in Louis van Gaal's first competitive game in charge at Old Trafford, a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City, starting in a back three alongside Phil Jones and youngster Tyler Blackett.

The centre-back, who can also play on the right side of defence, earns around £50,000-a-week at present and can expect an improved offer similar to that being made to fellow England international Jones.

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