Arsenal transfer news: Gunners will need to up their £12m interest in Manchester United defender Chris Smalling

Smalling is being heavily linked with a move to the Emirates but United manager Louis van Gaal is determined not to let him go

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The Independent Football

Arsenal will have to up their reported £12m offer for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling if they are to have any hopes of signing him in the summer.

The Manchester Evening News reports that the Gunners have readied a £12m bid for the summer in the hope of bringing the England international to the Emirates, having landed Danny Welbeck from the same club last season.

However, despite the Gunners also pursuing Smalling last season only to be firmly rebuffed by United manager Louis van Gaal, the prospect of the 25-year-old moving south is looking very unlikely as he is showing signs of adapting to the Dutchman’s style of play.


Van Gaal did want to sign Thomas Vermaelen last season when he left Arsenal, but his sheer reluctance to let Smalling move in the opposite direction ultimately scuppered any chance of the Belgian heading to Old Trafford, and instead the former Arsenal captain joined Barcelona in a £15m transfer – one that hasn’t worked out with the defender yet to make his Barcelona debut due to injury.

Smalling has become a regular first-team starter for United in recent weeks

In all likelihood, Arsene Wenger will need to up the bid from the £12m fee that is currently being flouted, and if they find the right figure then United may become interested in selling due to their own summer plans.

The club look certain to make a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels in the summer transfer window after continuous links between the two parties refuse to go away. The Germany international appears ready to move on from the Bundesliga side, who are hoping to make as much as £36m from any potential sale should they feel that they have no option than to let him move on.

Thomas Vermaelen was wanted by United last month

United also retain interest in a number of other defensive targets across Europe, as reports in Spain suggest Nicolas Otamendi is on the verge of agreeing a move from Valencia while Atletico’s Diego Godin also remains on the radar.

However, Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos looks set to remain in France for the near future at least after signing a one-year contract extension with the Champions League quarter-finalists.