£31m signing signals end for Man Utd star, Jose Mourinho set to axe him
Man Utd defender Chris Smalling is reportedly set to be pushed out of the club this summer as Jose Mourinho seals the signing of Victor Lindelof.
The England international was publicly criticised by Mourinho at times last season, which spelt trouble for his long-term future at Old Trafford.
However, the 27-year-old still made 36 appearances in all competitions, although with a lack of options, perhaps that was Mourinho sticking with what he had.
As noted by The Daily Star though, there’s going to be a shuffle this summer as Man Utd are closing in on the £31m signing of Lindelof from Benfica, with the 22-year-old Swede becoming Mourinho’s first major summer signing.
Naturally, he will be expected to form a formidable central defensive partnership with Eric Bailly, but it’s noted in the report that Phil Jones could be kept as cover, whereas Smalling will be available for sale. Further, in a damning verdict, it’s suggested that the Portuguese tactician doesn’t think Smalling is good enough, and so will evaluate offers for him ahead of next season.
Mourinho’s issues with the former Fulham star seemingly resolved around his injury troubles during the season, but this suggestion that he doesn’t deem him good enough is a slight surprise.
Smalling has made over 250 appearances for the Red Devils, has won two Premier League titles and both domestic cups during his stint with the club, and was an important figure under former boss Louis van Gaal.
However, the current United manager seemingly doesn’t see the same strengths as being enough, and while it’s difficult to argue with him when he’s brought in Bailly and Lindelof as pillars of his new own team moving forward, given the Manchester giants will be competing on various fronts next season, he may well need him for back-up.