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Manchester United to hand Chris Smalling new deal, Jose Mourinho targets January move for Michael Keane

Manchester United are set to hand Chris Smalling a fresh contract in order to keep the defender at Old Trafford beyond his current deal. The centre-back’s contract with the Red Devils will expire in the summer of 2019.


The England international last featured during his side’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea. Jose Mourinho criticised Smalling and Luke Shaw for refusing to play through pain in United’s 3-1 win over Swansea City before the international break.

Gareth Southgate, the Three Lions’ interim manager, clashed with the Portuguese tactician for his remarks on his two of his players. However, it was later revealed that Smalling has been suffering with a broken toe, which has seen him spend time on the sidelines.

According to reports, Mourinho wants his employer to hand the former Fulham centre-half a new contract, despite the row with him over the player’s fitness. The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager refused to discuss Smalling’s fitness in his pre-match press conference for Arsenal clash.

"Chris Smalling you cannot ask [about], you cannot ask because you have your sources, you trust your sources, you believe in your sources, you write what your sources tell and you did that for 15 days," Mourinho explained.

"I don’t say a word about Chris Smalling. I don’t say a word. You have your sources. You do the big headlines with your sources and now I’m not interested in commenting on that."

United are already without the services Eric Bailly, who is out of action until December. The Ivory Coast international picked up a knee injury against Chelsea in October. With Smalling also out of action, Mourinho was forced to play Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind as his two central defenders, who are both left footed players.

In the last two matches, the United manager replaced Blind with Phil Jones to partner with the Argentine international. Meanwhile, Mourinho is looking to bring in a central defender in January and has set his sights on Burnley’s Michael Keane. The same report from the Sun claims the Red Devils are set to make a £25m ($30.8m) bid for his services in the mid-season transfer window.

Keane, who came up the ranks at Old Trafford, was allowed to join The Clarets on loan in the summer of 2014 before completing a permanent move in January 2015. He has established himself as one of the key players in his side’s back four and was instrumental during Sean Dyche side’s goalless draw against United at Old Trafford.

Jimirasire

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