But the defender, in spite of hiring a new agent, has not shown any signs of moving elsewhere this summer – perhaps due to an unexpectedly shaky start from Lindelof so far this season.
And according to the Sun, Mourinho has decided to keep the 27-year-old at Old Trafford as a back-up option and will not consider any offers made during the closing stages of the transfer window.
The 54-year-old may have thought that, ahead of signing Lindelof, the Swede could step directly into Smalling’s shoes, but that hasn’t transpired. Too much unpredictability exists at the back for United for Mourinho to sell a player who, whilst unpredictable, can be imperious on his day.
Marcos Rojo doesn’t return until December and whether he can return to the level he was at in April remains to be seen, while Lindelof is thought to need more time to settle in at Old Trafford. Combine that with the constantly looming prospect of a Phil Jones injury and you can see exactly why Mourinho feels reluctant to let Smalling go anywhere.