Arsenal refuse to give up on Smalling

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has not given up hope of completing a deal for promising Fulham defender Chris Smalling, despite battling Manchester United in the hunt for the England Under-21 international.

Smalling, 20, has caught the eye of the Barclays Premier League leading teams following his solid performances for the Cottagers, who rate the centre-back at around £7m having plucked him from Maidstone.

Reports suggest United have had a bid accepted, while Arsenal's was rejected.

Wenger, though, maintains until the ink is dry, no deal can be considered done.

The Arsenal manager said: "It just looks like Manchester United offered more money than us, but as long as the player has not signed anywhere it is not the end of it.

"Let's see what happens there.

"We will not come out on what we are doing exactly. It has come out [elsewhere], but that does not mean it is true.

"If we have anything more to tell you we will let you know."

Wenger, however, rejected suggestions he was set to move for Dutch forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

He said: "We are not after any striker at the moment."

The Gunners boss is, though, ready to let teenage midfielder Jack Wilshere go out on loan to get some regular first-team football.

"We have interests now from a few Premier League teams, it will be decided today or tomorrow," Wenger said.

"Burnley is an opportunity.

"At the end of the day, Wilshere will have his word to say, because he needs to decide where he likes to go."