Wolves have pulled off what will likely be one of the coups of the transfer window in securing a club-record deal for the highly rated Fabio Silva.

The 18-year-old forward joins in a reported €40million (£35.6m) transfer, signing a five-year contract to further expand Wolves' significant Portuguese contingent.

Executive chairman Jeff Shi confirmed his signing had come at the request of head coach Nuno Espirito Santo and it sees Wolves secure a talent strongly linked with Real Madrid and Liverpool in the past.

The deal makes Silva the seventh costliest teenager in history, and he joins illustrious company, as outlined below…

Kylian Mbappe: Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain - €180m

Likely to remain the world's most expensive teenage signing for some time, Kylian Mbappe is already well on the way to justifying the €180m outlay PSG made to prise him away from Monaco three years ago. Mbappe had fired Monaco to a shock Ligue 1 title triumph before departing and his goals have continued to flow in the French capital. Still just 21, Mbappe has arguably eclipsed team-mate Neymar already, while he has won a World Cup with France. Pele has acknowledged comparisons with the forward, who looks a certain Ballon d'Or winner in the near future. It would take a world-record fee to buy Mbappe, but he has hinted he could be open to leaving PSG.

Joao Felix: Benfica to Atletico Madrid - €126m

Potentially rivalling Mbappe for top individual honours in the years to come could be Joao Felix, who was tasked with replacing Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid following his move to Barcelona. Joao Felix hit 20 goals in all competitions for Benfica in 2018-19, three of those strikes coming in the Europa League, to announce himself among the world's top talents. He endured a difficult first season in Spain, as he appeared to struggle with a new position, setup and philosophy under Diego Simeone's tutelage, but some promising flashes towards the end of the campaign suggested the player compared to Kaka could establish himself in 2020-21.

Matthijs de Ligt: Ajax to Juventus - €85.5m

Barcelona were linked with De Ligt, having already sealed a deal for club and country team-mate Frenkie de Jong, but the Ajax captain instead opted for Serie A. Much like Joao Felix at Atletico, De Ligt did not have the most convincing of debut seasons, despite Juve going on to win another Serie A title. Nevertheless, after a year bedding in, 2020-21 might see the Dutchman recapture his best form as he will likely become an even more central figure under Andrea Pirlo.

Anthony Martial: Monaco to Manchester United - €60m

Eyebrows were raised when United parted with €60m for Martial in 2015, with one British newspaper describing the deal as a "waste of money" in a back-page splash. While it might have taken him a while - after a blistering start - to properly establish himself, struggling particularly under Jose Mourinho, the Frenchman is beginning to make good on his potential at 24. With 17 goals in 32 Premier League games in 2019-20, Martial appeared to cement himself as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-choice centre-forward and formed a dynamic front three with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood. He also earned a recall to the France squad, with 2020-21 looking like a season of endless possibilities for Martial.


Rodrygo Goes: Santos to Real Madrid - €45m

Real Madrid have been signing young talent in recent seasons in a departure from their Galactico-focused days, although the arrival of Eden Hazard did show they are still willing to splash out on ready-made superstars. Rodrygo Goes linked up with Zinedine Zidane's squad for 2019-20 having remained on loan with Santos after completing his initial transfer to the Spanish giants. The tricky forward showed plenty of promise in his first season and seemed to usurp Vinicius Junior in the pecking order at times. Madrid hope he can be their Neymar.


Vinicius Junior: Flamengo to Real Madrid - €45m

Rodrygo followed in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian Vinicius, who was a rare shining light for Madrid in 2018-19, scoring two LaLiga goals. In his second season, Vinicius was in and out of the team, but did enjoy a few stints of regular football. Flashy, flamboyant and difficult to tackle, Vinicius is a classic Brazilian wide player, though concerns about his end product remain despite having been at the club for a while now. Nevertheless, Vinicius could be Madrid's future along with Rodrygo.

Fabio Silva: Porto to Wolves - €40m

Silva became Porto's youngest-ever player in 2019 when he made his debut for the first-team less than a month after his 17th birthday – the previous record-holder was his new Wolves team-mate, Ruben Neves. The technically gifted forward, who has been suggested as the potential long-term heir to Cristiano Ronaldo, helped Porto to UEFA Youth League success in 2018-19 and has regularly caught the eye in Portugal's youth setup. Although he only scored three times in 20 appearances with Porto in 2019-20, Silva appears destined for a future at the top, with his technique and on-the-ball talents seemingly a good fit for Wolves' dynamic attacking options.

Luke Shaw: Southampton to Manchester United - €37.5m

Like Martial, Luke Shaw is another player who seems to have laboured under a large price tag at times. Shaw also had a fractious relationship with Mourinho but made the United left-back spot his own with 29 Premier League starts in 2018-19. The 24-year-old remained a regular last term, despite the emergence of Brandon Williams, and managed to stay relatively injury-free, but one rarely gets the impression his position in the squad is absolutely certain, particularly given his attacking output lacks in comparison to the world's best full-backs.


Wayne Rooney: Everton to Manchester United - €37m

Wayne Rooney certainly repaid his fee – he was British football's most expensive teenager – becoming United's all-time leading goalscorer and winning five Premier League titles at the club, as well as the 2007-08 Champions League. Rooney will go down as a United great despite affairs such as agitating for a move and falling out with Alex Ferguson. Rooney dropped out of favour in the latter years of his time at Old Trafford and was also sidelined for England, with a return to boyhood club Everton failing to spark. But joining MLS strugglers DC United was a clever move and Rooney helped inspire their rise. Now 34, he is back in England with Derby County.


Renato Sanches: Benfica to Bayern Munich - €35m

Bayern thought they were signing a player who would become one of the era's dominant midfielders when they snapped up Renato Sanches from Benfica, but the transfer did not work out at all. Bayern bought Sanches before he won Euro 2016 with Portugal but, four years later, that remains the highlight of his career. Sanches flopped in a loan spell with Swansea City in the Premier League and quickly appeared surplus to requirements at Bayern. He eventually secured a permanent move away last year when Die Roten recouped €25m for him - applaudable given his form - when selling him to Lille. But in France he seems to have found his feet again, enjoying a solid debut season and attracting interest from around Europe.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to be drawn on whether he will drop David de Gea and says the under-fire goalkeeper has the mental strength to recover from his Wembley howler.

De Gea made a huge mistake to gift Mason Mount Chelsea's second goal in their 3-1 FA Cup semi-final victory on Sunday.

It is by no means the first time the Spain international has made such a mistake and there have been calls for Solskjaer to leave the 29-year-old out when United face West Ham in the Premier League on Wednesday.

The United manager was in no mood to disclose whether De Gea will keep his place against the Hammers as United go in search of a victory that would move them into the top four.

Asked if he faces a crucial decision on who will start between the posts at Old Trafford, Solskjaer said during a virtual press conference: "That's your job to talk about and write about and my job is to prepare a team for West Ham.

"We're not gonna talk about individuals because no one here will feel we put more pressure on them."

He added: "This is not going to become a David de Gea press conference, we’re just going to stick together. David's mentally strong enough to know his job is to perform in training the next day and be ready for the games."

Solskjaer revealed that Eric Bailly is set to miss the encounter with David Moyes' side after being taken to hospital with a head injury suffered during the loss to Chelsea.

Captain Harry Maguire is expected to be fit despite clashing heads with Bailly on a painful afternoon for United in London, while Luke Shaw (ankle) is poised to return.

"Eric stayed down in London for all the checks, he's done all the checks," Solskjaer said.

"I didn't see him yesterday and he followed the [concussion] protocols that are needed. I don’t think he'll be ready for this game, I've not seen him this morning yet.

"I think everyone is available apart from that. We've just got to stick together, stay strong, two games to go and we’ve given ourselves a good chance (of finishing in the top four)."

Manchester United will be without Luke Shaw for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea at Wembley.

The full-back twisted his ankle during the 2-2 Premier League draw with Southampton at Old Trafford and sat out the 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Thursday.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not expect Shaw to be ready to face Frank Lampard's side, but there is better news for Brandon Williams, who sustained a worrying head injury against the Saints and also missed the game at Selhurst Park, having suffered heavy bruising around his left eye.

"Luke will be out," Solskjaer said on Saturday. "I can't see him recovering.

"Brandon will hopefully be okay. He'll try to join in training today with his eye. We'll see if he can see the ball when he comes in! He should be fine."

Timothy Fosu-Mensah started at left-back against Palace, making his first appearance for United since May 2017.

Mason Greenwood is a doubt to face Crystal Palace on Thursday after being left with a damaged ankle by Oriol Romeu's challenge on Monday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says. 

Greenwood was caught late by Romeu in an incident that went unpunished by referee Chris Kavanagh during Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Southampton at Old Trafford. 

Manager Solskjaer, who was unhappy to see the challenge escape further punishment through a VAR review, now fears the in-form 18-year-old will not be available for the Premier League clash at Selhurst Park. 

Luke Shaw twisted his ankle in the same match and replacement Brandon Williams sustained a head injury, leading to substantial second-half injury time in which Michael Obafemi scored Southampton's equaliser. 

"I'll give Luke as much time as possible – him and Mason, their ankles are swollen and a bit blown up," Solskjaer told MUTV. "I'll give them as much recovery time as possible to give them a chance.  

"Brandon should be fine, he has a gash over the eye but if he can see out of it, then...

"We've not trained obviously this morning [Wednesday] yet but we'll hopefully have two, maybe all three of them."

Solskjaer added of Greenwood, who played on until the 84th minute: "In the heat of the moment, he'll play on and the adrenaline gets you going, and then you get a little bit of reaction after.

"I said after the game that my ankles were a bit weak after many years of football. But obviously Mason carried on and I think it should have been looked upon by the referee, definitely."

Greenwood has played in all seven of United's matches since their campaign restarted on June 19, scoring four goals in his past four starts.

The Saints draw means United are fifth in the table, behind Leicester City on goal difference with three matches remaining.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains upbeat about his team's top-four chances as he defended their mentality after Monday's last-gasp 2-2 Premier League draw with Southampton.

In-form United missed the chance to go third in the table after conceding a 96th-minute equaliser to substitute Michael Obafemi and Southampton at Old Trafford.

After rivals Chelsea and Leicester City both lost over the weekend, United had a golden opportunity to boost their Champions League qualification hopes on matchday 35.

Having fallen behind to a Stuart Armstrong strike, United looked on track to leapfrog Leicester and Chelsea thanks to quick-fire goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial prior to half-time.

But United were unable to hold on against a tenacious Southampton side, who restored parity in the sixth minute of additional time following a head injury to substitute Brandon Williams, which left the Red Devils down to 10 men.

Solskjaer, however, defended his United team after they ended the match level on points with fourth-placed Leicester and one adrift of Chelsea in third.

"Absolutely not," Solskjaer told reporters when asked if United have a mental block, having failed to capitalise on Chelsea's slip-up. "I don't think any of our players have though, 'Oh what have Chelsea done this weekend'. Not at all.

"It's just the way the games go and we all play against the same teams and we've all got 38 games to get through and it'll even itself out over the long season. You deserve the position you get in the end."

Solskjaer, whose United extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches across all competitions, added: "I have to say the mentality of the boys has been brilliant. We've had a few setbacks over the season, of course. This is another challenge for us.

"I'm very confident in the mentality of them, very disappointed of course. But you have to take the disappointment as well as the positives when you win games. It's disappointing when you concede with the last kick of the ball, lose two points.

"It's just part of football and we've learned a hard lesson today hopefully. We'll make it right, we'll put it right. I trust the boys in that respect."

Solskjaer is also hoping for "good news" after full-back Luke Shaw was forced off with an ankle injury in the 75th minute – replaced by Williams.

United are next in action on Thursday as they travel to Crystal Palace.

What does the future hold for PSG stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar?

Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for Mbappe, while Barcelona have tried to re-sign Neymar.

As PSG prepare for the 2020-21 campaign, the Ligue 1 holders have made some transfer decisions.

 

TOP STORY – PSG KEEPING MBAPPE, MAKE NEYMAR DECISION

Paris Saint-Germain will not sell Kylian Mbappe ahead of the 2020-21 season but Neymar's future remains uncertain, according to L'Equipe.

Mbappe has been tipped to make the move to Real Madrid in the future, however, Ligue 1 champions PSG have no intention of parting with the France international before next season.

But Neymar – continually linked with a return to Barcelona after leaving in a world-record transfer in 2017 – could leave as PSG look to avoid losing the Brazilian star on a free transfer in 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are preparing their first offer for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz. Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Chelsea will make a £62million (€70m) bid plus add-ons for Havertz amid interest from Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barca. To fund the transfer, Chelsea will look to sell Inter target Emerson Palmieri, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Jorginho, who would like to reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.

Luke Shaw could be sacrificed as United look to sign Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, claims the Mirror. United have reportedly leapfrogged Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for full-back Chilwell.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are interested in Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has also been linked to Madrid.

Willian has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami, reports the Telegraph. Willian's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season and he has been linked to Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

- Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is wanted by Russian champions Zenit, according to the Evening Standard.

- Calciomercato says Juventus are not the only club eyeing Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo. Jose Mourinho reportedly wants the Italy international at Tottenham, while Madrid and United are also believed to be interested.

- The Express claims Chelsea are stepping up their pursuit of United goalkeeper and Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson. Chelsea are ready to ask Manchester United for a price as Kepa Arrizabalaga struggles in London.

Luke Shaw has got his self-belief back and credits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with providing the spark that reignited his Manchester United career.

The left-back faced public criticism at times from previous boss Jose Mourinho, whose tough-love approach failed to bring the best out of the former Southampton player.

But Solskjaer has adopted different tactics in working with the United squad to his Portuguese predecessor.

Shaw, for one, is feeling the benefit of Solskjaer's support, and he says there is "massive respect" for the Norwegian throughout the dressing room.

"He's helped me a lot on the pitch, but more so he's been one of the biggest influences off the pitch too, with the way he handles players," Shaw said.

"He knows what players need. I had a difficult couple of years before he came in; I think maybe he realised that and knew what I needed. He's really helped me off the pitch. He obviously believes in me, he tells me that. That's the confidence you need as a player: to have the manager believe in you."

Speaking on the United website, Shaw said Solskjaer has allowed the kinship between himself and his players to blossom.

"We also get on really well, and that's a key thing: your relationship off the pitch," Shaw said.

"I know he's the manager, and we all have massive respect for him, but it's also important to have a nice relationship off the pitch too sometimes, when things aren't too serious."

Shaw was brought to Old Trafford by Louis van Gaal in 2014, establishing himself in the first team under the Dutchman, who was succeeded by Mourinho.

When Mourinho's tenure ran its course by December 2018, after two and a half years, Solskjaer was the surprise choice to step in, initially as an interim boss.

There have been struggles along the way, but United have looked a markedly sharper team since late January.

Solskjaer has brought the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes to the club.

"I've seen a lot of changes during my time at United and I have to say that Ole has been responsible for a large amount of the improvements around the place," Shaw said.

Chief among those improvements, according to Shaw, has been signing players not only with the technical capabilities to play for United, but the human qualities that improve a squad.

"He's signed people who aren't just good players, but also really good lads as well," Shaw said. "They've integrated in the squad really well and brought a bit more energy and togetherness in the group."

Mason Greenwood could be Manchester United's next Robin van Persie, according to defender Luke Shaw.

Greenwood has enjoyed an impressive breakout season at Old Trafford, scoring 12 times and laying on four assists despite 20 of his 36 outings coming from the bench.

Writing in his weekly lockdown diary on United's official website, Shaw marvelled at the 18-year-old's potential and sees shades of Van Persie – the Netherlands great whose prolific debut season at Old Trafford in 2012-13 inspired Alex Ferguson's farewell Premier League title triumph.

"He’s had a fantastic first season in the first team. He’s clearly a natural goalscorer," Shaw observed. "This season – even though he doesn’t start all the time – his goals return and his stats are great, and he’s got some assists too. For someone so young, in their first season, he’s done brilliantly.

"He’s still got so much to learn, but if he carries on working hard and pushes himself every day then I don’t see why we can’t see him turn into another Robin van Persie or a player of that style that’ll score lots of goals for us."

Greenwood's most notable trait is his two-footed capabilities and Shaw knows what a considerable challenge this can present for defenders.

"Purely the fact that he’s so two-footed, it’s unbelievable," the England international said.

"When I was younger, when I played youth football, there was a young lad called Lewis Baker who played with Chelsea, he was always both-footed.

"Him and Mason are probably the only two pure two-footed players I’ve seen. When I was at Southampton, Adam Lallana could also use his left and right very well.

"Also Ravel Morrison was very strong on both feet and we’ve seen a lot of people talking about his potential in recent weeks, but I’d say Mason is stronger on that front."

Manchester United will be taking "a massive step forward" when they return to training on Wednesday, says defender Luke Shaw.

Although contact between players is not yet allowed, United's squad will reconvene for a first session since coronavirus restrictions for elite sport were eased.

Sessions for small groups will get under way but players must adhere to social distancing rules, arriving in training kit and showering at home rather than in shared changing rooms.

"The rules have to be really strict but we're obviously all going to stick to them just to make sure things run as smoothly and safely as possible," Shaw said.

"I think we're all determined to do things properly because we're all looking forward to getting back on a proper pitch! Running down at the park is okay, but obviously it isn't ideal.

"We have to do our work, keep fit and it'll be nice to be around different people and see the boys again for a bit longer. It's a massive step forward to get on the same training pitch as each other."

Shaw told United's official website it would not only be the players who enjoy getting back to work, explaining how in a group call "you could see how excited the coaches were".

There have been instances at other clubs of players being reluctant to jump back into training, with Watford captain Troy Deeney saying he will not be making an immediate return because of personal concerns in relation to COVID-19.

When United reassemble, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want to ensure there is a high overall level of fitness, as the Premier League is looking to resume in June.

Shaw, who joined United from Southampton in 2014, is confident that will be the case.

"I'm sure there'll be some fitness work when we get back, but we've all done a lot of running over the last three weeks and now we're all just itching to do more ball work," Shaw said.

"The most important thing is getting used to that and it’ll be nice to be able to pass, dribble and get the right feel for the ball again so we can do what we all love."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been key to most of the improvements that have been made at Manchester United since Jose Mourinho left, according to Luke Shaw.

Solskjaer was brought in as Mourinho's replacement on a temporary basis in December 2018, but after inspiring a significant upturn in form, he was given a full-time contract in March.

Performances and results dipped dramatically from then until the end of last season and issues seemed to remain at the start of 2019-20, but United had hit their best run of form since Solskjaer's appointment before the coronavirus pandemic led to a suspension in March.

United were unbeaten in 11 matches across all competitions, a run that included two wins over Manchester City, a 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and back-to-back 5-0 triumphs in the Europa League against Club Brugge and LASK.

Shaw – who has been at Old Trafford since 2014 – highlighted the unity that has developed in the squad, suggesting it has been even more evident during the lockdown.

"It's great to see everyone helping each other out," he said in a diary entry on United's official website. "Carras [Michael Carrick, first-team coach] was on the group call the other day, praising us for looking after ourselves because everybody looks the same [in terms of physical assessments] as before lockdown, so he's happy.

"Everyone's working hard, we're pushing each other with our runs and helping each other out. Hopefully everyone can be back working together at the training ground soon.

"There really is a great feel about this group of lads now, and that has been the case for a while. I've seen a lot of changes during my time at United and I have to say that Ole has been responsible for a large amount of the improvements around the place.

"When he came in, he knew what was needed, what had to change to get things up and running again. He's signed people who aren't just good players, but also really good lads as well. They've integrated in the squad really well and brought a bit more energy and togetherness in the group."

Harry Maguire has been credited with having a particularly impressive impact off the pitch, with the pre-season signing from Leicester City already becoming club captain following Ashley Young's move to Inter in January.

Shaw feels Maguire's efforts have been focused on creating a better mentality in the group, with players agreeing to a code of conduct that sees them accept a fine if they miss bonding activities.

"He [Maguire] is really trying to make sure we get more things done together as a group going forward," Shaw continued. "Young was brilliant, really tried his hardest, but sometimes it was difficult to get things done as a group.

"Now we've made a pact that whenever a team bonding thing happens, we all have to do it or we get fined. It's great for the team to be together and do things together.

"In some groups, sometimes, there are people who just don't get on, which is natural when you've got big groups, but I honestly believe that in our squad everyone gets on really well.

"We all love each other, we all want to push each other to be the best and, of course, to get United as a club back to where it needs to be."

Voiding the Premier League season is the only course of action if the fixtures cannot be fulfilled, according to Manchester United defender Luke Shaw.

The Premier League, like almost every other league throughout Europe, is on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Liverpool 25 points clear in pursuit of a first top-flight title in 30 years.

It was confirmed last week that the season will not resume in May, with no return date specified as the United Kingdom fights to contain the spread of the virus.

Dates are now available for club football to be played in June and July after Euro 2020 and the Copa America were postponed by a year.

However, Shaw believes the campaign should be scrapped if a way to restart cannot be found.

"Scrap it and start again," said Shaw, speaking on a Twitch stream of a FIFA 20 competition for Unicef's Combat Corona fundraiser.

"Start it again. If we can't carry it on, it's got to be void."

Liverpool need just six points to win the title, but they are not the only club who would miss out in the event of the season being expunged.

It would also prevent United from qualifying for the Champions League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are three points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, but fifth would be enough to qualify if Manchester City's ban from the competition is upheld.

United were on an 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions when the season was suspended, with Shaw adding: "That's why we were disappointed, because we were really confident and results were going our way but the most important thing is the lives."

Shaw is not a fan of the idea of playing the remaining games behind closed doors, as United did in their Europa League game at LASK, their final outing before the postponement.

"Fans are so important, you realise it even more [now]," he added. "I think the sport is for fans really... I think if you don't have fans, and you don't play in front of fans, it just doesn't feel right.

"Especially on matchday, the fans are always amazing and always help the team. Whether it's home or even away, our fans are always brilliant and I feel like they're always there with us."

Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw warned there is so much more to come from star Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford.

Fernandes has been a revelation since arriving from Sporting CP in January, with two goals and three assists in five Premier League matches.

The Portugal international brilliantly teed up Anthony Martial in Sunday's 2-0 derby victory over Manchester City – his quick free-kick helping to break the deadlock before Scott McTominay's stoppage-time strike.

Fernandes has been hailed for his performances and team-mate Shaw joined the list following the Manchester showdown at the Theatre of Dreams.

"At times we know he's going to lose possession, but we need them sort of risk passes that are going to unlock defences," Shaw said.

"He's been a brilliant signing so far and he's already come in with a few assists and a few important goals.

"We will keep pushing the standards and we'll keep pushing him because there's so much more from him to come."

United appear to have turned a corner under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – unbeaten in 10 games across all competitions.

The Red Devils, who have not lost in the Premier League since January, are fifth in the table and three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League spot.

"I think back then emotions got over us too much and I think we didn't maintain that, and I think this time we're in different sort of position," Shaw said as he looked back on United's 11-match unbeaten streak during Solskjaer's initial interim tenure last season.

"We're probably more experienced to it now because it was very disappointing the way we dropped off and that's not Man United. We need to keep the standards high.

"I'm sure the boss and the coaches around us will keep pushing, but also us as players we need to push each other every day to get to where we want to be. I have no doubt that we can finish off the season really strong."

Odion Ighalo insists he does not care about those who doubted his Manchester United credentials after his two goals helped secure an FA Cup quarter-final spot.

The striker was signed on loan until the end of the season on deadline day in January from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

There was criticism of United's apparent last-minute scrambling to sign a forward as back-up for Anthony Martial and the injured Marcus Rashford, particularly with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez having been allowed to join Inter in the previous window.

Ighalo has responded to the doubts in style, though, having scored three goals in just two starts for the Red Devils.

After netting on his Old Trafford debut for United in the 5-0 Europa League thrashing of Club Brugge last week, Ighalo scored twice against Derby County on Thursday to secure a 3-0 victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

The 30-year-old is already a popular figure among the fans and insists he is only concerned by the thoughts of supporters, his manager and his United team-mates.

"I'm happy for the goals, first of all," Ighalo told BT Sport.

"As long as my team-mates believe in me, the boss believes in me, the fans believe in me, I just have to keep going. I don't care what people say outside."

United went ahead through Luke Shaw's fortuitous volley, which bounced off the turf and seemed to clip team-mate Jesse Lingard before looping over goalkeeper Kelle Roos.

The full-back had only scored once before for the club and he is not prepared to allow Lingard to take this goal away from him.

"I'm claiming it! No chance – he can't claim that!" Shaw said. "I think there was too much spin because I didn't hit it correctly, but he can't claim that.

"I'm very happy. Most important was the win and another clean sheet for the boys. Hopefully, there are more goals from me to come."

United have now gone nine matches without defeat across all competitions and kept clean sheets in seven of those, and Shaw says they go into Sunday's derby with Manchester City in a positive mood.

"We're in a very confident period at the moment with results and keeping shut at the back," he said. "We're very confident. It's a massive game Sunday and we're looking forward to that."

Wayne Rooney's hopes of a dream reunion lasted little more than half an hour on Thursday as Manchester United visited their record goalscorer's new employers.

Rooney was centre stage in an otherwise youthful Derby County team for the FA Cup fifth-round tie, dictating play from deep in midfield, a role that pitted him directly against Bruno Fernandes, United's latest superstar.

Former England captain Rooney, after crashing into Scott McTominay by the corner flag early on, provided the platform that allowed his younger colleagues to instead turn in the sort of energetic displays he was once renowned for in United red.

Max Bird, 19, Louie Sibley, 18, and Jason Knight, 19, hassled and harried Fernandes, who struggled to find the rhythm that has made him an instant hit at Old Trafford.

While Rooney kept passes ticking over as Derby held their own, even testing Sergio Romero with a low free-kick, Fernandes toiled.

The Portugal international ceded possession 14 times in the first 30 minutes and required treatment midway through the half after an awkward fall.

But a fortuitous opener took the game away from Rooney. Three Derby blocks in quick succession - the last from Fernandes - kept United at bay on the edge of the area, before Luke Shaw hammered a shot into the ground and the ball looped up after hitting Jesse Lingard's back on its way into the net.

Shaw, with an England place at Euro 2020 suddenly in his sights, then marched forward and slipped a pass into Odion Ighalo, who adjusted his feet to net United's second four minutes before half-time.

Rooney, an increasingly peripheral figure in his final months at United in 2018, was pushed into the background again, only to return to the fore to receive a yellow card for a foul on Fred.

The 34-year-old is still waiting for a first goal against United in seven attempts as an opposition player but has been booked in four of his five starts in such clashes.

There was more aggression following half-time, but Rooney kept his emotions in check to avoid an unseemly red card, and the Derby captain was at the genesis of bright moves that saw Martyn Waghorn and Jack Marriott go close.

Neither Rooney nor Derby could disrupt a serene night for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, though, and so the United fans launched into a lengthy serenade shortly before the hour-mark.

"He goes by the name of Wayne Rooney..."

The travelling supporters paused to acknowledge Fernandes, when an uncharacteristically sloppy outing concluded with his substitution, and then Ighalo after a ruthless third, but tributes to their 253-goal great were eventually reprised.

Rooney had vowed to celebrate if he scored against his former club, yet that only belatedly represented a serious threat as Sergio Romero touched over a stoppage-time free-kick.

There will surely be few further opportunities to soak up the United acclaim on the pitch, but the warm reception for a club legend merely meant Rooney had failed this time to end an unbeaten Red Devils run that stretches to nine matches.

Eliminated from the FA Cup, the Old Trafford favourite can at least now revert to his role as a supporter, no doubt desperate to see Solskjaer maintain a surge towards Wembley, claiming again the trophy Rooney lifted as captain in 2016.

Odion Ighalo scored twice as Manchester United eased into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Derby County at Pride Park.

The Red Devils' January loan signing took his tally to three goals in two starts for the club after Luke Shaw had put the visitors in front on Thursday.

United's record goalscorer and former captain Wayne Rooney started against his old club but, aside from some impressing passing from deep, he could not help Derby spring a shock against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

There was some early threat to the United goal from Phillip Cocu's men, as Louie Sibley shot narrowly wide and Rooney saw a free-kick well saved by Sergio Romero.

United began to assume control, though, with Juan Mata and Ighalo denied by Kelle Roos, before Shaw broke the deadlock in fortuitous fashion 33 minutes in.

After Lingard and Bruno Fernandes saw shots blocked, Shaw fired a half-volley into the turf and, perhaps via a slight touch off Jesse Lingard, the ball looped over the stranded Roos and in.

Ighalo got the second four minutes before half-time, holding off the attention of Craig Forsyth and Max Lowe and poking the ball into the bottom-left corner.

Derby started the second half brightly and twice came close to a lifeline, with Romero saving Max Bird's deflected shot and Martyn Waghorn heading a fine Jayden Bogle cross inches wide.

Roos had to react well to deny Shaw and Mata, though, before Solskjaer took the chance to hand the excellent Fernandes a rest ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby.

The result was made safe with 20 minutes of normal time left, as Ighalo exchanged passes with Mata and, after seeing his first effort blocked by Bogle, rifled the rebound high into the net.

Rooney almost got on a scoresheet in front of the travelling fans, who chanted his name at several points in the match, but Romero made a flying save to tip his free-kick over the bar.

What does it mean? United building momentum for decisive few weeks

United are into the quarter-finals for the sixth season in a row, but that trip to Norwich City will be far from their minds as they look to continue their good recent form into a challenging run of games.

They face Manchester City on Sunday before a Europa League last-16 visit to LASK next Thursday, after which Tottenham and Jose Mourinho travel to Old Trafford before the second leg of their European tie.

With six wins and no defeats from their past nine matches in all competitions, Solskjaer will be hoping their momentum does not now fizzle out.

On Shaw footing

Shaw's form down the United left has been a real plus point of recent weeks, and it continued at Pride Park as he again showed his worth to Solskjaer. His miscued effort made his goal fortuitous, but his pass for Ighalo's second was excellent, and he nearly scored again after a promising run.

Sibley gets lucky

Sibley gave a good account of himself, but the 18-year-old may well have seen red for a kick at Scott McTominay's face had VAR been in use. The United midfielder was certainly unimpressed.

What's next?

United head to Norwich for the quarter-final on the weekend of March 21, but they have the more pressing concern of the Manchester derby on Sunday in the Premier League. Derby resume Championship duties against Blackburn Rovers on the same day.

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