Manchester United are reportedly prepared to kick-start contract negotiations with Chris Smalling with his existing deal due to expire at the end of the current campaign. The England international started the season as one of the backup central defenders in the matchday squad but he has since managed jump ahead in the pecking order with Eric Bailly struggling to impress.
According to The Star, the Red Devils are keen on prolonging the stay of the former Fulham man, who has featured in each of the club’s previous five games across all competitions. It is added that manager Jose Mourinho is unsatisfied with the current options at hand but the arrival of another recruit in the New Year won’t hamper Smalling’s proposed extension with the club.
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Former Arsenal favourite Martin Keown has urged Jose Mourinho to focus on winning matches with Manchester United rather than regularly indicating the club’s failure to sign top players during the summer transfer window. The Red Devils recently suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford and this has ensured their worst start to a Premier League season since 1992/93.
As a result, there have been plenty of question marks raised over the future of Mourinho but Keown believes the 55-year-old should carry on with the focus of winning games for the club, he said: “One of Mourinho’s main problems is that sometimes he is too honest. He honestly felt in the summer that if United did not buy more players, the group would not be good enough to win the league. Results have endorsed that view. He needs to ignore the media. This is a new Mourinho. I want to see him prove how good he is by turning this situation around. He needs to focus on winning matches, not arguments.”
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