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Man United’s four January transfer deadline day signings as Old Trafford dreams came true

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Manchester United aren’t renowned for their deadline day signings in the January transfer window, yet they’ve still made four in recent years.

If business needs to be done, it needs to be done – and the Red Devils could still pull off some late shocks to boost their Champions League hopes.

Many believe interim manager Ralf Rangnick needs a central midfielder, while others would like to see him sure up their leaky defence.

They may also decide to let some players leave, with a handful of stars clamouring for a Premier League move.

Here, Mirror Football takes a look at United’s deadline day signings in the January window… including a striker’s fairy tale story.

Perhaps the only man to represent both Manchester clubs but never play a single minute for either of them, Veseli joined United from City in January 2012.

The 19-year-old centre-back arrived at Old Trafford with a fine reputation – helping Switzerland win the U17 World Cup in 2009.

“I am very happy and it is an honour to sign for Man Utd,” Veseli told reporters. “I can’t wait to get started.

“I am looking forward to showing everybody what I can do on the pitch… I am very thankful to Sir Alex Ferguson for bringing me to such a great club.

“Man Utd has a long history of younger players coming through and hopefully I follow and do the same.”

Although Veseli never played for United or City, he did manage to get some experience in England with Ipswich Town, Port Vale and Bury.

He left the UK in the summer of 2015 and has since gone on to achieve success in Italy, achieving two promotions to Serie A with Empoli and current side Salernitana.

Veseli has also become a full international, winning 38 senior caps and starring at Euro 2016 for Albania after switching his allegiance.

Andy Kellett

United stunned the footballing world when they announced the loan signing of Bolton Wanderers youngster Andy Kellett seven years ago.

The 21-year-old had played just four times in the Championship for his parent club and was set to continue the 2014-15 season on loan at League Two Plymouth Argyle.

“When I got in there, the manager – Neil Lennon at the time – said, ‘There’s an opportunity to go to Man Utd, if you want,'” Kellett exclusively told Mirror Football on deadline day.

“I didn’t think it was a joke, but it was a shock to me. Obviously when he told me I was buzzing.”

Kellett was signed to bolster United’s U21 squad and, although he never played in the first-team, did a great job – helping them win the Premier League 2 title.

The midfielder, who can also play at left-back, went on to represent Wigan Athletic, Chesterfield, Notts County and Fylde before joining non-league Guiseley in 2020.

Nathan Bishop

On this day two years ago, United snapped up talented goalkeeper Nathan Bishop from League One side Southend United.

The 20-year-old had made a great start to his career, making 39 appearances in all competitions and picking up an England U20 cap.

Bishop’s impressive form persuaded the Red Devils to give him a two-and-a-half-year deal and the chance to work with some of the biggest players in the world.

“The opportunity to join Man Utd is a dream come true,” he said. “This club has a great record of developing goalkeepers and I cannot wait to work with the coaches here.”

Bishop’s opportunities during his first 18 months at Old Trafford were limited, although he did feature in the EFL Trophy and get the chance to sit on a Premier League bench.

The youngster was snapped up by Mansfield Town on a season-long loan last July and has since flourished, starting all of the Stags’ League Two fixtures this season.

Thanks in part to Bishop’s efforts, Mansfield were seventh heading into the weekend – just three points off the automatic promotion places with two games in hand.

“I think when you look at the other goalkeepers in our league, and the one above, he is as good as anything,” said Mansfield manager Nigel Clough in September.

“Although he’s not played many games for the best part of 18 months, you can see he’s been around a place like Man Utd.

“He talks about [Bruno] Fernandes doing his shooting afterwards, it’s bound to improve you.”

It may be a while until we see Bishop in a United shirt, but he’s certainly a talent worth waiting for.

Odion Ighalo

United fans were amazed when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer announced the signing of Odion Ighalo, initially on loan until the end of the season

The 30-year-old striker had made a name for himself at Watford, scoring 15 Premier League goals in 2015-16 to help the Hornets finish in 13th.

He’d spent the last three years of his career playing in China – finding the back of the net 46 times – and few expected the Nigeria international to return to England.

“Odion is an experienced player,” insisted Solskjaer. “He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us.”

Ighalo couldn’t believe his luck. When asked what Premier League ground he was most looking forward to playing at after Watford’s promotion in 2015, he said Old Trafford.

“It’ll be a dream come true to play against Man Utd, the team I supported in my youth,” revealed Ighalo.

He went on to stay at Old Trafford until January 2021 – scoring five goals in 23 appearances in all competitions – and will never forget his time at the club.

“It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end, but I give God the glory for helping me fulfil this lifelong dream of putting on a Man Utd shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honour I will forever cherish and be grateful for,” he told the club’s website.

“To the manager I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many did not… I’m still and would remain a Man Utd fan forever. Once a Red, always a Red.”

Chelsea

Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea set to battle it out for Atletico Madrid forward

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Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea are all set to battle it out for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.

Felix has endured a difficult start to the season for Atletico and is yet to score in five starts in the league.

Last season wasn’t much better for Felix, only managing 24 league starts.
With competition up top including French international Antoine Griezmann, Felix is often used as a rotation option under Diego Simeone.

Now, according to Fichajes, a move to the Premier League could be on the cards, with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal all interested in signing the striker.

Both Manchester United and Chelsea will need to find a long-term replacement for their current first-choice strikers.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both reaching the latter stage of their careers for their respective clubs, so bringing a player with a similar age profile to Felix would be a smart move.

A move to Arsenal may not benefit Felix’s development as much, with Gabriel Jesus performing exceptionally well for the North London club and still only 25 years old.

 

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Football

Manchester United transfer news RECAP plus fixture updates and Cody Gakpo latest

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Manchester United and fellow Premier League clubs are counting down the days until they can strike-up further business in the transfer market. Erik ten Hag welcomed six players to Old Trafford during his first window and they have all made their mark in the starting XI.

Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have all quickly become mainstays, while Antony broke a record set by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he scored on Sunday night. That 2-1 victory over Everton also saw former Real Madrid player Casemiro handed his first Premier League start for the club.

Martin Dubravka was the other recruit, signing on a season-long loan from Newcastle.

With one eye on January and future windows, meanwhile, United are understood to still have Frenkie de Jong on their radar, while elite clubs from across Europe will be queuing up for Jude Bellingham should he decided to leave Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in the near transfer window.
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Chelsea

So good’: Reece James and Carney Chukwuemeka react to display from £135m star Chelsea reportedly want to sign

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Jude Bellingham shined yet again last night for Borussia Dortmund on the Champions League stage, which received some interesting reaction from a Chelsea perspective.

England star Bellingham, 19, scored in Dortmund’s 1-1 draw against Sevilla. It means the teenage midfielder has now scored in all four Champions League group stage matches so far this season

Afterwards, Bellingham posted on Instagram “more to do” following Dortmund’s midweek result in Europe.

There were some interesting replies in the comment section, especially from two current Chelsea stars.

“Another day at the office”, Reece James posted.

Carney Chukwuemeka added: “So, so good”.

Bellingham in Champions League

Another Bellingham masterclass in the Champions League highlights why Chelsea, along with other elite teams, are linked with his signature.

German publication Bild report that Chelsea are now favourites to sign Bellingham ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Another Bellingham masterclass in the Champions League highlights why Chelsea, along with other elite teams, are linked with his signature.

German publication Bild report that Chelsea are now favourites to sign Bellingham ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Bellingham plays alongside plenty of Chelsea stars on the international stage with England, so let’s hope they can put in a good word to try tempt him to the Bridge.

He’s an all – action central midfielder that offers so much both offensively and defensively.

 

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