Ed Woodward gave Bournemouth just 15 minutes to accept Manchester United's Josh King bid on deadline day

It was quite a surprise when Manchester United confirmed the signing of Odion Ighalo in January.

The Nigerian had spent the previous three years in China, after all, and was now 30 years old.

Most had forgotten about Ighalo, a player who had once looked impressive at Watford, scoring 15 Premier League goals in 2015/16.

His form had fallen greatly after that campaign, however – he bagged just one in 18 over the next campaign before a January departure to Changchun Yatai.

United needed a striker, though, and Ighalo was clearly seen as one of the best options available to them.

The other, it appears, was Josh King – an ex-United youth product, now playing for Bournemouth.

A return was on the cards in January as United made a bid to the Cherries for their Norwegian forward.

But that didn’t quite work out, although it does appear that King was their first-choice, according to The Athletic.

They say that United offered Bournemouth £25m for King on deadline day but also gave them an ultimatum.

“You have 15 minutes to tell us whether you accept, or we’ll be signing a player from China,” Ed Woodward allegedly told his Bournemouth counterpart, Neil Blake.

They also say that Bournemouth didn’t actually give United an answer – they just let the time elapse.

So Woodward didn’t get the answer he hoped for and that ‘player from China’ duly arrived in the form of Ighalo on loan.

The jury is still very much out on this gamble and it’ll take time before we can judge Ighalo properly.

If he can recapture that form he once had at Watford, though, Woodward will be very happy that he never heard back from Bournemouth.

News Now - Sport News