United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is on holiday in the south of France but he has a high regard for Smith, partly because of his gritty personality and partly because of the way he has dealt with injury problems and being played out of position.
Having stated that Smith would be used purely as a centre-forward when he crossed the Pennines, Ferguson was forced by circumstance to press him into service as a makeshift midfielder. It was in that role that he suffered a broken leg when facing Liverpool in the FA Cup in February last year.
Smith did not make a sustained comeback until March, a return that was sealed by a spectacular strike in the 7-1 rout of Roma. However, the Telegraph says Ferguson does not take kindly to messages being relayed through the media and, by signalling his unhappiness, the Yorkshireman may have undermined his position at Old Trafford.