United see off Arsenal in the race to sign Fulham defender Smalling

28 January 2010 12:37
Manchester United have won the race to sign 20-year-old Fulham defender Chris Smalling, but the champions were forced to raise their offer to £10million after late interest from Arsenal.[LNB]United thought they had agreed an £8m deal for a player who cost Fulham £10,000 from non-league Maidstone 18 months ago and has only started two games in the Barclays Premier League.[LNB]But Arsenal's attempt to hijack the deal meant United, in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, had to pay an extra £2m for the England Under 21 man.[LNB] United way: Chris Smalling will join champions Manchester United at the end of the season despite late interest from Arsenal[LNB]United boss Sir Alex Ferguson intervened on Monday with a personal phone call to Smalling, who travelled to Manchester for his medical on Wednesday, hours after playing in Fulham's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.[LNB]United's decision to announce the signing before the game at Spurs also added pressure on the player. It was a subtle reminder from Ferguson that he thought they already had an agreement.[LNB] Fulham chiefs heap praise on United bound 'diamond' defender Smalling Man United 3 Man City 1: Wayne Rooney finds the killer blow to end the gallant City fightMANCHESTER UNITED FC

Source: Daily_Mail