Red Devils have turned down an offer from Everton to sign Chris Smalling on a season-long loan amid completing the £80m signing of Harry Maguire on Monday. Norwegian manager has seven centre-backs in his squad with Chris and Maguire joined by Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe.
With so many footballers vying for only two positions in Solskjaer’s starting line-up it had been expected that two or three of them could be sold before the transfer deadline. However, England international looks likely to remain as Ole Gunnar Solskjær sees him as a vital part of his back-line alongside Maguire and Lindelof next campaign.
Chris made 34 appearances for the Red Devils last campaign and was generally Ole’s preferred option in central defence alongside Lindelof in the second half of the last campaign. Of United’s collection of centre-backs, Marcos Rojo is free to leave after making only 18 appearances in all tournaments over the previous two seasons.
Axel Tuanzebe has also been linked with a loan move away with Premier League newcomers Aston Villa credited with an interest, however, Norwegian coach sees him as part of his first-team plans. Eric Bailly has a severe injury and won’t be able to help Man United until November.
Following the departure of Antonio Valencia in summer, Smalling is the Red Devils longest-serving player after joining the club from Fulham in 2010. Toffees are on the lookout for a new centre-back before the transfer window closes tonight after being thwarted in their attempts to re-sign Kurt Zouma from Chelsea.