CHELSEA passed up the chance to sign Manchester United-bound Chris Smalling, right, for free, according to the player’s former manager at Maidstone.
The 20-year-old completed his medical at Old Trafford last week and will link up with the Red Devils from July 2010 on a four-year contract from Fulham.
But it could have all been different for Smalling, with Chelsea passing up the opportunity to sign him.
Maidstone boss Alan Walker revealed: “Chris was available on a free transfer because he was never under contract with us.
“A lot of clubs showed interest and Chelsea actually had him on trial and he played in a friendly match for them.
“But it was only Middlesbrough and Fulham who made offers to Chris and he chose Fulham.”
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