English Premiership

United swoop for Smalling

2010-01-26 21:40
Chris Smalling (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester United have agreed to sign central defender Chris Smalling from Premier League rivals Fulham, the English champions announced Tuesday.

Premier League leaders United said the 20-year-old Smalling would join up at Old Trafford from the start of the 2010/11 season, meaning he'd spend the rest of the current campaign with London club Fulham.

"Manchester United has agreed terms for the transfer of Chris Smalling from Fulham," a club spokesperson told United's official website on Tuesday.

"Chris has agreed personal terms with the club and will join for the beginning of the 2010/2011 campaign. He will remain at Fulham until the end of the current season."

However, Fulham did cast the proposed move into some doubt Tuesday by saying "final terms" had still to be agreed with United.

A Fulham statement said: "Fulham can confirm that it has reached an agreement with Manchester United for the transfer of central defender Chris Smalling.

"Should a successful medical be completed and final terms agreed the player will join Sir Alex Ferguson's team at the start of the 2010/2011 season, staying at Fulham for the remainder of the current season."

United's title rivals Arsenal were also looking at signing Smalling but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said Tuesday: "It just looks like Manchester United offered more money than us."

Nevertheless, the Frenchman added: "As long as the player has not signed anywhere, it is not the end of it. Let's see what happens there."

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