United confirm deal for Fulham youngster Smalling
Manchester United have confirmed the capture of Fulham defender Chris Smalling. The 20-year-old completed his medical with the Old Trafford outfit and will link up with the Red Devils from July 2010 on a four-year contract.
It completes a meteoric rise for the England Under-21 star, who only two years ago was playing non-league football with Maidstone.
A statement on the United website read: ''Manchester United is delighted to announce that Fulham defender Chris Smalling has agreed terms and passed a medical examination. He will join the club in July 2010 on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.''
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "Chris is an extremely talented young defender, who we have been monitoring for some months. He's very quick and reads the game well. He will be a great asset to the club, playing alongside some of the best defenders around and we're delighted to have secured his signature."
Smalling, 20, himself described the move as an "unbelievable opportunity".
"My time at Fulham has been great and I have learned a lot about the game from Roy Hodgson and the coaching staff," he said. "But the chance of coming to the biggest club in the world is something I just couldn't turn down. I'm excited about working with Sir Alex and the fantastic players in the squad.
"I've played a few times in the Europa League this year, but the thought of making the step up to the Champions League next year is great. I can't wait."