Man Utd Signs Chris Smalling from Fulham

Manchester United have swooped to sign defender Chris Smalling from Fulham.

Manchester United have had a £7 million bid accepted for the England under-21 international by Fulham, and should the move be finalised, it will cap a meteoric three-year rise from lowly Isthmian League outfit Maidstone United to the current Premier League champions.

Bill Williams, 67, is general manager and director of football at the Kent-based side that also produced the Red Devils’ 1968 European Cup winner David Sadler. After making more than 250 appearances for teams such as Portsmouth, Queens Park Rangers and West Bromwich Albion, he took on his current roles seven years ago.

Williams confirmed that London giants Arsenal and Chelsea hold a long-term interest in Smalling and is convinced he will become part of Fabio Capello’s full England set-up.

“I’ve been in the game since I was 15 and helped players like Bruce Grobbelaar, Warren Barton and Gary Breen make it to the top. Smalling deserves to follow those guys in to international football and the Premier League,” Williams told Goal.com UK.

“He shot in to the first team from our youth ranks in no time at all. When he left us for Fulham [in 2008], Arsenal, Chelsea, Reading and Middlesbrough all wanted him as well.

“We picked him up after he was released by Millwall when he was 16 and I remember seeing him in his first trial match for us and being incredibly impressed. He was head and shoulders above the other boys, with a haircut like Marouane Fellaini.

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