United swoop for Smalling
Manchester United have signed defender Chris Smalling from Fulham. The deal will see the 20-year-old join the Old Trafford outfit in the summer, and completes an astounding rise to prominence for a player who was in the non-league ranks with Maidstone United two years ago.
Smalling has caught the eye with some excellent performances in the UEFA Europa League this season, and despite making only nine first-team appearances, Sir Alex Ferguson views him as having the talent to make a big impact on the game.
United are refusing to state how long the Londoner, who will complete the remainder of the season at Fulham, has signed his contract for.
However, it represents a moral victory for Ferguson, who lost out to Arsenal after having a fee agreed with Cardiff City for Wales star Aaron Ramsey in 2008.
This time it is Arsene Wenger losing out, after claiming earlier today he was still interested in signing the Greenwich-born player.
"It just looks like Manchester United offered more money than us," said Wenger. "As long as the player has not signed anywhere, it is not the end of it. Let's see what happens there."