United snap up Smalling

Image: Smalling: Highly-rated

Manchester United have won the race to sign highly-rated central defender Chris Smalling from Fulham.

Promising defender agrees Old Trafford switch

Manchester United have won the race to sign highly-rated central defender Chris Smalling from Fulham. The England U21 international will join the Premier League champions in the summer after finalising the deal on Tuesday. The move completes an astounding rise to prominence for Smalling, who has made just nine first-team appearances for the Cottagers since signing from non-league Maidstone two years ago. London rivals Arsenal had also shown an interest in the Greenwich-born 20-year-old, however Sir Alex Ferguson, who lost out to the Gunners in the race to sign Wales star Aaron Ramsey in 2008, has moved quickest to secure his signature. "It just looks like Manchester United offered more money than us," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. United are refusing to state how long Smalling, who will complete the remainder of the season at Fulham, has signed his contract for.

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