By Wayne Veysey

22nd Dec, 2016 | 9:53pm

Report: West Ham make approach for Manchester United player (not Martial), this is the response

By Alex Stevens

West Ham have made an approach for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling ahead of the January window, according to a report.

The Mail report that the Hammers have expressed an interest in signing the England international next month.

But it is said that United do not wish to cash in on Smalling even though he has slipped down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho.

The Old Trafford manager is said to be in the market for a new centre-back next month as he prepares to lose Eric Bailly to the Africa Cup of Nations.

United are in talks to sign Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, who is reportedly valued at £38million plus add-ons by his club.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

The Premier League giants’ interest in Lindelof throws the future of Smalling into fresh doubt following a wretched half-season for the former Fulham man.

Smalling has started just five of United’s 17 league games this season and Mourinho has called into question his willingness to play through the pain barrier.

The 27-year-old is now behind Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind in the centre-back pecking order at Old Trafford.

It is a far cry from his experiences under former manager Louis van Gaal, who made Smalling his number one man in the middle of the defence.

In other West Ham transfer news, the club are preparing a January swoop for a £56million forward.