MANCHESTER UNITED star Chris Smalling is wanted by Everton on a free transfer when his deal runs out next summer.
The 28-year-old defender has had a solid season so far with a number of improved performances after a huge drop in form.
He has already held talks over a new Old Trafford contract, and wants improved terms on his £90,000-a-week wages.
But the Toffees are hoping to land him next July, despite United having an option to extend his deal by a further 12-months.
Even if the Red Devils do add another year onto his contract, Everton will still look to buy Smalling in the January transfer window.
And Marco Silva – who is set to be backed with funds – has sent scouts to watch the ex-Fulham ace on a number of occasions this season.
An Old Trafford source said: “Chris has been looked at by a number of clubs, but Everton have shown a lot of interest.
“He is out of contract next summer and there’s been chats over extending it, but nothing has been finalised as of yet.
“There needs to be some protection of the investment in him, so don’t be surprised if the new year deal comes in.
“If that doesn’t happen then he will walk away at the end of the season. He can also talk to European clubs in January, we’re aware of that.”
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It is understood an offer of around £30m in January would tempt United into selling, even if they do extend Smalling’s contract.
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