Manchester United have agreed terms to sign defender Chris Smalling from Fulham but he will only join his new club at the start of the 2010-11 season.
A club spokesperson told United’s official website: “Manchester United has agreed terms for the transfer of Chris Smalling from Fulham.
“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.”
Smalling, who impressed on his Premier League debut against Chelsea last month, has only two league appearances under his belt but has played four times in the Europa League for Fulham this season.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted he had been considering making an offer for the England Under-21 international, but United made the first move.
Smalling, 21, previously played for Maidstone United and was playing in the Ryman Premier League – the seventh tier of the English football pyramid – only two years ago.