Football transfer rumours: Chris Smalling to Tottenham?

Barry Glendenning on 2 March 2020

Continuing to haemorrhage goals under José Mourinho, Tottenham Hotspur are in need of a central defender and may try to sign Chris Smalling from Manchester United. Having proved uncharacteristically reliable since going on loan to Roma, Smalling has an admirer in Mourinho, but he and his family are enjoying life in Italy and may decide to stay in the capital.

Spurs are also being linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s Swedish winger Emil Forsberg, who has been frozen out of the Bundesliga side and made no secret of his desire to leave for pastures less glacial. “It’s not going well,” he said. “I don’t have to prove myself anymore. I have a contract, but everyone knows that I dream of playing in another league again.”

Rounding up today’s Tottenham-related tell-all, Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster has been identified as a potential understudy for Hugo Lloris, although the 36-year-old could feasibly argue he’s having a considerably better season than the current Tottenham No 1.

Struggling to come by goals while their Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth is banging them in on loan at Trabzonspor, Crystal Palace could be ruing the day they sent the 24-year-old to Turkey. Sorloth has scored 24 goals and provided seven assists in all competitions this season, feats which are reported to have caught the eye of recruitment staff at Manchester United, Sheffield United, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Sevilla and Leipzig. Responding to speculation regarding his future, Sorloth toed the party line and said he is happy where he is for the time being.

“This is a great side, we play at the highest level and the team have really bonded together,” he said. “It would be irresponsible, wrong and disrespectful to talk about transfers at this time. I am not going to do it. I am not getting involved, I am focused on the title race.” Joint top of the Super Lig on 48 points with Galatasaray and Sivasspor, but leading on goal difference, Trabzonspor have first dibs on Sorloth when his two-year loan deal expires at the end of next season.

Dropped to the bench on Saturday for Stoke City’s 1-1 draw away at fellow relegation contenders Luton before coming on as a late substitute, Nathan Collins is reported to be inching his way across Manchester United’s radar. The Irish 18-year-old is believed to be one of a whole host of United summer targets, along with the considerably more experienced trio of Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa, Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish and Wolves striker Raul Jiménez.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Steven Gerrard has been making ominous noises about his future as Rangers manager after his team were dumped out of the Scottish Cup by the Premiership basement dwellers Hearts on Saturday. Speaking after the game, a shellshocked Gerrard said: “I need to do some real serious thinking in the next 24-48 hours. I just need to think, I am feeling pain right now because I want to win here.” While this very public post-match existential crisis has prompted no end of idle speculation, it will be a major surprise if Gerrard is not in the dug-out when Rangers entertain Hamilton in the league on Wednesday.

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