Manchester United has given defender Chris Smalling a new five-year contract, tying him to the Premier League champions until the end of the 2015-16 season.

The 21-year-old Smalling was expected to be a peripheral figure in his debut season at United, but played 34 times as the Red Devils reached the Champions League final and regained the Premier League title.

United manager Alex Ferguson says Smalling ''is an extremely talented young defender, he's quick, strong and reads the game well.''

Smalling's emergence meant United was able to sell long-serving defenders John O'Shea and Wes Brown to Sunderland this week.