By Harvey Byrne
West Ham are ready to end their interest in Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling, according to a report.
The Daily Star has claimed that the Hammers have made the decision to cool the idea of signing the 27-year-old with manager Slaven Bilic believing that they are well covered in the defensive position.
Smalling’s career at the Old Trafford giants has been thrown into doubt after manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he is willing to let the experienced defender depart from the club.
Each of West Ham, Everton, Newcastle and West Brom were all reported to be targeting the 31-time capped England international, who earns £80,000-a-week according to the Daily Star.
However, the Hammers, who have Winston Reid, James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna, Jose Fonte and Reece Oxford vying for a place in the club’s back line are now said to be ready to abandon their interest in Smalling.
Smalling has been a part of the Manchester United team for seven years after signing from Fulham in the summer of 2010.
He has played in 243 matches for the club during that time and still has two years remaining on his contract.
However, he could be set for a move this summer due to playing just 18 Premier League matches last season alongside the purchase of Victor Lindelof ahead of a World Cup year.
Football Insider verdict:
There is no doubt that only Reid is better than Smalling in the current West Ham defender pecking order. However, the England international’s cost plus wages could mean there are far better options for the Hammers out there. Smalling is being let go by Manchester United for a reason and that is mainly because he simply makes too many mistakes and gifts penalties with his constant shirt grabbing. He would not be the player to help West Ham move up the league table, but despite Bilic’s reported beliefs the east London club do need to improve that backline, as it is week as it stands.
In other West Ham transfer news, the Hammers have raised their bid for this 24-goal attacker.