Arsenal eye audacious swoop for senior star from Premier League rivals – report
By Tony Hughes
Arsenal could be set to rekindle their long-running interest in Manchester United central-defender Chris Smalling, according to a report.
Mourinho criticised Smalling for not playing through his pain after last week’s Premier League game against Swansea.
Now, The Mirror claim that this has alerted Arsenal to the possibility the player may be unsettled, with the report stating Smalling was unimpressed at being identified by Mourinho in the media.
The Mirror had previously reported Mourinho as highlighting Smalling’s attitude before and after the Swansea game.
“Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100 per cent with his pain,” Mourinho said.
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“We have players with problems but we have on the pitch players with problems,” he added after the game
“I know in other sports – at the highest level – how many times you play and you are not 100 per cent.
“I have a friend who is a big tennis player and he remembers more the times he played with pain than the times he played without any pain.”
The Mirror claim the row has rekindled Arsenal’s interest in the player who they tried to sign before United pipped them to his signature in a £10million deal.
They also claim that despite signing Shkrodan Mustafi from Valencia in the summer, Arsene Wenger would be a bidder for Smalling.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club is set to lose out on Swedish wonderkid after heavy interest from Dutch giants.