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December 18 2017, 06:26 | Van Peters
Ronaldo seeks exit. Pic Getty
Chairman Daniel Levy wants the centre-back gone before he commits to reinvesting in the backline, having already missed out on Hull City's Harry Maguire who was snapped up by Leicester City for £17 million.
Smalling has been deemed surplus to requirements by Mourinho as the summer overhaul at United picks up shape and he will be allowed to leave the club.
Spurs will be aiming to continue the progress that saw them finish runners-up to Premier League title winners Chelsea in the last campaign, with aspirations of going one better next time around.
Mourinho is keen to splash the cash this summer as he looks to build a squad capable of challenging in the Premier League and the Champions League.
Mourinho is also ready to offer Dier the chance to establish himself as a holding midfielder at Old Trafford so the lure of playing in his preferred position will be a tempting prospect for him.
Pochettino has first-choice duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen but is keen to a third quality centre-back.
However, in order to command £150,000-a-week plus, he may have to move clubs.
He managed 36 appearances across all competitions last season and competition for places is set to be even tougher next year, with the likes of Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and new arrival Lindelof competing for a starting spot.
Manchester United are very interested in the England worldwide, who is very versatile, capable of playing all across the defence.