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Ed Woodward’s ’15 minute demand’ says a lot about how Man Utd do business

Manchester United look set for a subdued January transfer window with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table.

Further business is not ruled out at Old Trafford, but it is unlikely we will see anything like the hectic events of the last January transfer window.

On that occasion, the Red Devils landed Bruno Fernandes in a big-money move after lengthy negotiations with Sporting Lisbon.

They then turned to the need for a striker as a stop-gap solution to cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.

Odion Ighalo eventually joined in a last-gasp move from Shanghai Shenhua – but only after talks were held with former United academy graduate Josh King.

Man Utd chief Ed Woodward gave Bournemouth just 15 minutes to decide over a transfer offer last year

And the way in which those talks progressed says a lot about the way Ed Woodward and United do business.

According to The Athletic, Woodward made quite a demand to Bournemouth after making a £25million bid.

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

Bournemouth’s Josh King looks set to leave the Championship club
A move for King was never completed as Woodward looked elsewhere

The 15 minutes elapsed as the Cherries weighed up the offer, with King ultimately staying on the south coast and being left feeling ‘used and messed about’ over the saga.

Ultimately, the demand showed Woodward was keen to flex his muscles and show United had the upper hand in the negotiations.

And a willingness to show they are in charge of negotiations has seemed to be a staple of their business.

Odion Ighalo instead joined Man Utd as their short-term striking cover
Odion Ighalo instead joined Man Utd as their short-term striking cover

They also played hardball with Sporting Lisbon over the deal for Fernandes and refused to pay Jadon Sancho’s release clause from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

Clearly, Woodward recognises that United are a big draw and still hold the upper hand in the majority of negotiations.

And whilst he did not get his response from Bournemouth within 15 minutes, he was not afraid to go elsewhere and find a striker who did a solid job for United before Rashford’s return.

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