WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

Papers: Reds eye Cottager

26/01/2010 09:49

Ferguson joins battle to capture Smalling
Manchester United have expressed an interest in the Fulham defender Chris Smalling, whose remarkable rise from non-League football now looks likely to continue with a battle for his signature between two of the biggest clubs in English football. It has been widely anticipated that Arsenal would make the first move for the £7m-rated defender, who was playing for Maidstone United when he was signed by Roy Hodgson in March 2008. However, Manchester United have let it be known that they are interested in the 20-year-old who, in a short space of time, has broken into the Fulham side and the England Under-21s. He was signed from Maidstone, a club which Hodgson played for during his time as a non-League footballer. Smalling is highly regarded for his pace and strength and his ability to play on the left side of the central defensive pairing. Given the cautious financial climate around even the top clubs, both United and Arsenal would prefer the deal to be loaded with payments that relate to the achievements of Smalling on the pitch.
Sam Wallace, The Independent

All the papers feature quotes from Wayne Rooney who insists he's staying at Old Trafford, as reported by ManUtd.com on Monday. The Daily Mail features quotes from ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown who pays tribute to the United striker and likens him to a wasp! "Wayne is worse than an annoying wasp. He just won’t go away, buzzing all around the opposition’s defence and penalty box. You’d kill a wasp, but you just can’t get rid of Rooney," says Keown.

In other news, Independent columnist James Lawton says Jose Mourinho is destined to be the star performer at Old Trafford as United's new boss when Sir Alex retires.

Round Up By Gemma Thompson

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