Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's determination convinced Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to choose Old Trafford over Arsenal.

The duo have put in some fine performances for Manchester United already this season and are looking like they can be the solid defensive core for Ferguson's team in the future.

However, a source close to the transfers revealed that both were heading for the Emirates, until Ferguson stepped in.

"Arsenal must be regretting what happened over Smalling and Jones,'' he revealed to the Sunday Express.

"Arsenal had agreed to sign Smalling from Fulham, but then Sir Alex stepped in. He was in no mood to let Smalling out of his sights.''

Jones was also linked to the Gunners, although United were always favourites to land the defender.