Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho will sign off on Chris Smalling being offered a new contract despite criticising him earlier this month.
The England international is currently recovering from a broken toe, but it came after he was criticised by Mourinho for not having the courage to play through the pain barrier in the win over Swansea City.
It appears as though the Portuguese tactician has eased his stance on the matter given the way in which the situation has played out, and according to The Sun, Smalling will now be offered a contract extension.
The 26-year-old currently has a deal that runs until 2019, but he will offered new terms and will potentially have a new centre-back partner or additional competition moving forward.
As noted in the report, Michael Keane is on United’s transfer radar, less than two years after leaving Old Trafford, and has been valued at £25m.
Given that Eric Bailly has impressed since moving to the Premier League this past summer, it remains to be seen whether or not Smalling is merely pushed further down the pecking order with the arrival of another central defender regardless of the new contract.
Having impressed under Louis van Gaal last season, Smalling has taken a step back so far this year as he has struggled to establish himself in the heart of the United defence and has been guilty of making some costly mistakes.
In turn, it’s no real surprise that United are looking at their options with Keane a possible target, while Mourinho will hope that Bailly can make a swift and complete recovery from his knee injury and reach the level of performance that he displayed prior to the setback.