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Manchester United open negotiations to complete another defender transfer deal

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is wanted by Everton, West Ham United and Crystal Palace, the Daily Star has revealed.

The defender was heavily criticised by manager Jose Mourinho this season for "not willing to push through the pain barrier" and is expected to leave Old Trafford during the summer.

He has not received an apology from the Portuguese but declared what he said was "directed at everybody".

"No [he didn't apologise], it's just professional," Smalling told reporters earlier this season.

"All of us are professionals and no player wants not to play. That was all just [him being] professional – get on with the rehab and then get out as quickly as you can.

"I think that was directed at everybody. We had a lot of injuries at that time and he was frustrated that quite a lot of players weren't available.

"I think in the Chelsea game [in October] I proved that I would play with injections. As players, it is not about always being 100 per cent. It's about going on the pitch and doing a job.

"I had done the injury, I played on and it turned out there was a break. I had a couple of injections but it got worse and that's when I had the layoff.

"You always want to push yourself because you don't want to let the fans or players down. Obviously he didn't know the full extent at that time.

"I don't think he knew the full picture then and once it was cleared up it was all good."

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