Smalling's new Manchester United contract should end Everton's transfer hopes
Everton were linked by the Daily Mail with a swoop for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling back in November, but have now surely missed their opportunity.
United confirmed over the weekend that the divisive defender had signed an extended deal, which will keep him at the club until 2022.
Of course, the sacking of Jose Mourinho has created uncertainty at Old Trafford which may convince Smalling to consider his future but it does look as if the chance has passed now that the Englishman has signed what should be his last big contract.
If Everton were serious with their interest, they should have swooped before Smalling signed a new deal, exploiting the fact that his previous deal only had months left to run.
But actually, Everton may well have dodged a bullet by not signing Smalling. One of the main features of their season so far has been how much Marco Silva has improved their defensive work and the key to that has been defenders who are comfortable on the ball such as Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma.
By contrast, Smalling was dropped from the England team for not being good enough on the ball and isn’t good enough for an upwardly mobile club.