Breaking: Chris Smalling to Arsenal, advanced talks ongoing

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Arsenal are reportedly the favourites to sign Manchester United defender Chris Smalling after holding initial talks over a potential transfer deal.

According to the Gambling Times, Arsenal first asked about the England international during talks over Alexis Sanchez and could try again for him once his move to Old Trafford is complete.

The report also lists West Brom defender Jonny Evans as a target for Arsene Wenger, though he appears more likely to join Manchester City instead.

As an alternative, Arsenal are keen to sign Smalling, who no longer seems to be an automatic starter under Jose Mourinho.

This could be a good move for both sides as United offload an unneeded squad player while Arsenal bolster what has been something of a problem position for them.

Per Mertesacker is due to retire this summer, while Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have struggled for consistency this term, leaving just Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as unconvincing backup options.

Smalling would surely be an upgrade, even if he hasn’t always been first choice at United for one reason or another.

The Gambling Times state that Arsenal are the 8/1 favourites to sign the 28-year-old, with Wenger said to be confident United will be ready to do business.

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