Smalling has rushed to apologise after being pictured appearing as a suicide bomber at a fancy dress party.
The photo, which his management company said was taken at a private party in his home, was on the front page of today's edition of The Sun.
A source said: "Chris and his girlfriend hosted a fancy dress party to celebrate Christmas and their belated birthdays with close friends in the assumed privacy of his own home.
"He dressed in a costume consisting of empty bottles of Jagermeister and cans of Red Bull strapped to his chest in an attempted comedy play on the popular Jagerbomb drink.
"Although he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologises for any offence caused."