Arsenal are plotting a summer move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who is seen as a replacement for Per Mertesacker should the German defender leave the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger is considering a renewed £12m bid for the United defender as he looks to recruit a new-centre half for next season.
The 25-year-old has only 12 months left on his contract at Old Trafford and despite reports that he will be given a new contract, no talks have yet been held over an extension.
Wenger has retained a strong interest in the former Fulham defender and The Telegraph reports Arsenal are encouraged by United’s delay in negotiating a new deal.
Manchester United are looking to add marquee names in the simmer and are expected to intensify their attempt to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, who will be available for around £35million.
Smalling has made 18 appearances this season and scored three goals. His recent form and strong partnership with Phil Jones might encourage Van Gaal to offer the England defender a long term contract at the club.