Manchester United have prevented Fulham from being able to field Chris Smalling against them when the two sides meet later this season.
According to The Times, the Premier League board have last night ruled out the possibility of Smalling playing against his future club as it would put both parties in a difficult position.
United beat Arsenal in the race to sign the highly rated centre back and as part of the deal the Premier League champions have agreed to loan Smalling back to Fulham until the end of the season.
However, according to the The Times, there is no clause in Smalling’s contract to prevent him from playing against his future employers but the Premier League have stepped in in order to prevent any suspicion over the deal.
The 20 year-old signed a four-year deal with United in a move reportedly worth £12 million to Fulham. The deal sees a remarkable rise through the ranks for Smalling who was playing non-league football with Maidstone United just two years ago.
The centre back has only made eight appearances for the London club this season and will not now be facing United when Fulham travel to Old Trafford on 10th March hoping to complete a double over the champions.