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Arsenal to bid for Fulham defender Smalling

last updated Monday 18th January 2010, 10:22 AM
Chris Smalling
Chris Smalling
Chris Smalling
The Mirror claims that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is ready to splash out on Fulham's England under-21 giant centre half Chris Smalling - in a stunning £7million deal.

Wenger has brought in Sol Campbell to help him through the season but the Gunners want a long-term defensive leader and the young Londoner is top of their wish list - with a bid imminent.

The shrewd Arsenal chief has had rave reports about the tall and elegant defender since he moved from non-league Maidstone and he thinks he would be perfect for his set-up.

Wenger is not slow to make up his mind as he showed with his swoop for Bolivian wonder boy Samuel Galindo after watching him for one day in a deal revealed by Mirror Sport.

Now he wants to recruit Smalling - a young, English player of outstanding promise - as he also tries to improve the number of home-grown players in his side.

Smalling made a striking Premier League debut against Chelsea last month despite an unfortunate own goal. He would not walk into the Arsenal side yet but could be groomed as a first-teamer for years to come.

Campbell's arrival gives Wenger the cover he needs if William Gallas or Thomas Vermaelen break down. He has lost faith in Philippe Senderos and told him he can go.

Smalling can also play in the Champions League if he is needed. He appeared in the Europa League for Fulham but that does not stop him switching clubs and competitions under the rules.

Wenger has some fringe players to offer Fulham in exchange if they are interested, but it is likely to be a straight-cash deal and the odds are on the transfer going through before the end of the window.

Source Alan Nixon at The Mirror
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