Manchester United have reportedly given Newcastle United, as well as several other clubs, the option to sign defender Chris Smalling.
The Englishman spent last season on loan at AS Roma, but the Italian club couldn’t strike a deal with Manchester United, and it looks like Smalling will not be returning to Roma.
As per Chronicle Live, the Magpies will have to shell out around £20 million for the Englishman. Smalling’s former club, Fulham, are also reportedly interested in signing him.
The England international could reportedly take a wage cut on the £130,000 per week wages that he earns at Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old defender has two years remaining on his current contract at Manchester United, having signed a new deal in December 2018.
Chris Smalling to Newcastle United – A good addition to the club?
Newcastle United have quite a few central defenders and that is one area that the club do not lack options. Captain Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett, Federico Fernández, Ciaran Clark, and Florian Lejeune can all play in the heart of the defence.
But, with Lascelles and Schar’s long-term injuries, as well as other clubs’ interest in signing Lejeune (h/t Chronicle Live), manager Steve Bruce may have fewer options to choose from at the start of the season.
That is where Chris Smalling would be a decent addition to the Newcastle United squad. The English defender is a leader, and had a great season at Roma, showing his critics what he is truly capable of.
A good defender with decent pace and ball-playing ability, Smalling could perhaps thrive in a three-man defence at Newcastle United. His ability to bring the ball out and pass, would allow the Magpies to build attacks from the back.
But, the £20million is a lot, that too for a player who is set to turn 31 later this year. Newcastle also have to strengthen other areas of the pitch, especially at left-back, central midfield, and add a goal-scoring forward.
If the Magpies can sell a few of their central defenders, they could perhaps fund the Smalling signing. But, they will have to first sign players in other positions before looking at signing another centre-back.
Smalling could be a very good signing, but he shouldn’t be the priority for the Magpies.