Over the years Arsenal and Manchester United have been fixtures of the Champions League. But when the competition kicks off next season, neither team could feature.
United certainly won’t be there having disappointed in the Premier League under David Moyes and being knocked out of Uefa’s premier competition by Bayern Munich.
Arsenal are better placed at a return to the promised land, but despite being 1/5 to finish in the top four this season, are no means guaranteed a spot with Everton breathing down their necks.
Should Arsene Wenger continue his monotonous affiliation with the Champions League though, then the north London club could well look to pounce on United’s absence with a shock move for versatile defender Chris Smalling.
A shake up at both clubs looks on the cards with Nemanja Vidic already heading to Inter Milan and Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand both uncertain on their United futures. Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen are both regularly linked with moves away from the Emirates.
A bid for Smalling, thought to be around the £13m mark, would cover both Arsenal departures in one swoop as the former Fulham man often splits his season between centre-back and right-back.
At just 24-years-old though, Smalling could well feature in David Moyes’ future plans although regular unwanted attention off the field could well dent his hopes of staying under the Scot’s employment.
The former non-league footballer was snapped out partying until 3am recently despite being injured while an appearance at a fancy-dress party as a suicide bomber also attracted the wrong sort of headlines.
On the field though, Smalling has done little to suggest he should be culled having seen his side ship just five goals in his last six appearances in the United defence.
If Arsenal are keen on making him their utility man, they’ll likely have to part with far more than the £13m they are budgeting for.
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