Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been ever-present in Jose Mourinho’s outfit this season, but failed to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup. And West Ham are considering using his omission to their advantage, as they weigh up a potential move for his services this summer, according to Metro.
The club are set to back Manuel Pellegrini with “record funds” this summer (BBC Sport), which will allow the ex-Manchester City boss to be ambitious with his targets in the market, and Smalling would represent a serious coup in east London.
Jose Mourinho has identified an additional central defender as key priority this summer, and the Englishman could find himself facing a limited role at Old Trafford next term if he stays.
Set back for winger
Pellegrini has suffered a setback in his quest to sign Felipe Anderson from Lazio this summer, according to Gianlucadimarzio.com, as both parties are currently unable to agree over financial issues.
According to the report, Lazio want £30.5 million as transfer fee plus £4.3 million in bonuses, but West Ham are currently unwilling to spend in excess of £26 million, as they look to bolster the squad in multiple areas.
Moreover, the Italian club are asserting that any deal must have a selling on fee for the Brazilian, meaning they would receive a percentage of the transfer fee, if West Ham were to sell the 25-year-old in the future.
Boost for defender
Nice have announced that long-spanning West Ham target Marlon Santos will not have to fulfil the initial expectation of two-loan seasons with Ligue 1 outfit, and will instead return to parent club Barcelona after completing his first year, according to Sky Sports.
A statement on Nice’s official website said: “In agreement with Barcelona, the Brazilian who was loaned to Nice last summer will not wear the Nice colours in 2018-19. He now returns to the Catalan club.”
Pellegrini will now likely revive his interest in the £22 million rated centre-back, while also courting Chris Smalling and Swansea defender Alfie Mawson.