Arsenal interested in Man Utd defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling

Gunners set for an overhaul and United duo could be surplus to requirements at Old Trafford - latest Arsenal transfer news and gossip

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in England training
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in England training
(Image credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger has sounded out Manchester United "over the availability" of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, reports the Daily Express.

The under-pressure Arsenal manager knows he has to hit the ground running in August if he's to avoid discontent growing in north London, and to that end he's going to overhaul his defence in the summer. Having already signed Sead Kolasinac from Schalke on a free transfer, Wenger is now eyeing up Jones and Smalling and he's even put in a request to Old Trafford asking "to be kept informed of any developments".

It's believed Jose Mourinho could be ready to offload the defensive duo, particularly as he's bringing in Benfica's Victor Lindelof, while Wenger is fearful that he could lose Laurent Koscielny to Marseille this summer.

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Meanwhile the Express also says that Wenger won't stand in the way should Gallic goal machine Olivier Giroud choose to leave the Emirates in search of regular game time.

Speculation has been growing in recent weeks that the 30-year-old striker, who helped his country to victory in last night's friendly against England, is unhappy at his infrequent starts for the Gunners.

Despite having signed a new long-term deal in January, Giroud started just 11 league games last season but he still managed to score 12 goals. Desperate to ensure he makes France's World Cup squad next summer, Giroud is considering his options with Marseille known to be interested in bringing him back to his homeland, although the Evening Standard claims that West Ham United "are eyeing a move" for the Frenchman.

According to the Express, Wenger is definitely going to make a play for Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette this summer, and if he gets his man the Arsenal gaffer will help Giroud "facilitate a move to a new club should he want to move".

Elsewhere, and the latest high-profile player to be linked to the Emirates is Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu. Arsenal and Spurs have both scouted the 23-year-old and neither have been thrown off the scent by the fact that Calhanoglu was banned for the final four months of last season by Fifa for breaching the terms of his contract.

The Turkey international offers pace and power from the midfield, but as he showed with his nine goals last season he also likes to attack. Talksport cites German newspaper Bild in claiming that Calhanoglu is "eyeing a move to the Premier League" after rejecting a £13m approach from Italian club Lazio.

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