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.
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.
Mourinho has identified an additional central defender as key priority this summer, with Tottenham superstar Toby Alderweireld among a host of targets, following on from the signings of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred and Porto right-back Diogo Dalot.
Smalling could find himself facing a limited role at Old Trafford next term as a result.
West Ham are reportedly willing to offer the 28-year-old a crucial first-team role at the London Stadium,with Manuel Pellegrini in the market for quality additions to bolster his squad ahead of loftier ambitions next season.
The club are set to back the Chilean coach 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.
Other high-profile pursuits are currently stalling over financial demands, with Javier Pastore yet to agree personal terms, while Lazio are asserting that a “sell on clause” must be inserted for Felipe Anderson.
And so the Hammers may consider turning their present focus onto the United defender.
However, it is unlikely Mourinho will let a first-team regular depart the club without a direct replacement in the offing. So West Ham will be keeping a watchful eye over United’s progress for an additional centre-back this summer.
Pellegrini is also interested in the possibility of bringing recently relegated Swansea man Alfie Mawson to east London, according to Sky Sports, as his outfit shipped the join-most goals in the Premier League last season with 68.