It's fair to say Odion Ighalo probably wasn't Manchester United's main target at the start of the January transfer window.
Romelu Lukaku was never properly replaced last summer, and when you couple this with Marcus Rashford's back injury, it seemed obvious that more reinforcements were needed up front. Still, few would have predicted the signing of the Nigerian striker.
A number of players were linked over the course of the month, but Bruno Fernandes was the only one signed heading into deadline day.
Joshua King was the named mentioned the most in the media in the buildup to deadline day, and it appears United were serious about bringing him to Old Trafford. However, it sounds like they left it too late to have any real discussions about a potential deal.
According to The Athletic, Ed Woodward rang Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake to place a £25million bid for King, but only gave him 15 minutes to make a decision. According to David Ornstein, he told Blake:
You have 15 minutes to tell us whether you accept, or we’ll be signing a player from China.
Bournemouth were unsure if Woodward was even being serious and failed to reply within the given time frame. United opted to sign Ighalo instead.
While deals often come down to the wire, this is indicative of the lack of planning at Manchester United. They had an entire month to attempt to sign the player, but ultimately left themselves with a matter of minutes to do so
You can certainly see why Bournemouth were taken aback with this strategy, even if it is certainly not uncharacteristic of Ed Woodward to attempt such a move. They will be hoping the form of Odion Ighalo makes the failure to sign King completely irrelevant.