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.

The versatile defender had been tracked by Arsenal for several months, with the the Gunners wanting to include the former Fulham man in a deal which would have taken Thomas Vermaelen to Old Trafford. However, United rejected Arsenal's offer and the Belgian ultimately opted to move to Barcelona instead.

The Red Devils are now planning to offer Smalling an improved long term deal worth €87,000 per week.

The England international 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 under former manager 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.

The centre-half, who can also play as a right-back, earns around €62,000 a week at present and can expect an improved offer similar to that being made to fellow England international Phil Jones.