Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of Ghana international Andre Ayew on a free transfer.

The 33-year-old forward becomes the club's 30th signing since the end of last season, and was able to join after the closure of the January transfer window as he had been a free agent.

Ayew, who had also been linked with a move to Everton, has penned a deal with the Premier League side until the end of the campaign.

After leaving Qatari side Al Sadd, Ayew returns for his second spell in English football, having spent time at Swansea City and West Ham between 2015 and 2021.

Ayew is reunited with manager Steve Cooper, who previously worked with him at Swansea.

"It's a great feeling to sign for Nottingham Forest," he told the club's website after his signing was confirmed on Thursday.

"I know how big the club is, and I know how much the club means to the city and the fanbase. It's always been difficult whenever I've played against Forest and at The City Ground and I love the stadium.

"Steve Cooper is someone who knows me very well and knows how to work with me both on and off the pitch. We have a strong relationship, he's a special coach and a special human being and someone who I really look up to.

"I know what I can bring to the team, I'm ready to give my all and make sure that we are able to stay in the Premier League."

Manchester City might be searching for a new left-back following Joao Cancelo's departure to Bayern Munich.

Cancelo, a star of City's last few seasons, joined Bayern on loan earlier this week having fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola.

Bayern have the option to make that move permanent at the end of the season, meaning City could well be in the market for a replacement.

TOP STORY – Chilwell to join City from Chelsea?

The Times is reporting that City could target Ben Chilwell, the Chelsea full-back, to replace Cancelo.

England international Chilwell has had an injury-disrupted season and missed the World Cup due to a hamstring issue.

However, he would fit the mould when it comes to the attacking full-backs that Guardiola employs.

If City have a big windfall to play with from a potential Cancelo sale, could a fresh start in the north west be on the cards for Chilwell?

ROUND-UP

– The Mail and The Athletic are reporting that Everton are looking to make amends for their fruitless January transfer window by signing free agent Andre Ayew to address their striker concerns. Nottingham Forest are also said to be in talks with the attacker, who last played for Al Sadd in Qatar.

– According to The Times, Everton could also target former Real Madrid midfielder Isco after his move to Union Berlin fell through.

– Sky Germany reports Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is close to signing an extension at Anfield, with his current deal expiring at the end of this campaign.

Paris Saint-Germain are said to be "furious" with Chelsea after Hakim Ziyech's loan move to the Parc des Princes fell through.

Barcelona coach Xavi insisted that they wish to build around Raphinha in the future, after the Brazil winger was linked with a move away from Camp Nou.

– Phil Hay of The Athletic detailed how Leeds United's Jack Harrison had a medical at Leicester City before a switch to the King Power Stadium broke down on deadline day.

Anthony Martial marked his return from injury with a goal to seal a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest and book Manchester United's spot in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

Holding a comfortable 3-0 aggregate lead from the first leg, United's position never looked to be in real threat but the hosts struggled to capitalise on their chances.

Wout Weghorst hit the post in the first half and United continued to be unable to convert in the early exchanges of the second half until a triple change on the hour mark.

Martial finally broke that deadlock after 73 minutes, with Fred then poking home from close range to add further gloss to the scoreline and secure a date against Newcastle United on February 23.

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas joined Nottingham Forest on loan as Steve Cooper's side completed a remarkable deadline-beating signing on Tuesday.

Navas, a three-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, fell out of favour in the French capital with Gianluigi Donnarumma the preferred goalkeeper for Christophe Galtier's side.

The 110-cap Costa Rica international will add a wealth of experience as Cooper's side attempt to stave off Premier League relegation.

Navas, who won two Ligue 1 titles with PSG after leaving Madrid in 2019, could be in line for his Forest debut in a crucial relegation clash at home to Leeds United on Sunday.

The arrival of Navas, whom Forest have the option to sign permanently at the end of the season, was announced shortly after confirmation of Jonjo Shelvey's signing from fellow Premier League side Newcastle United.

Shelvey has penned a two-and-a-half-year contract with Forest, with the fee undisclosed but expected to be insignificant as the midfielder's Newcastle deal was set to expire in June.

Former Liverpool man Shelvey suggested Cooper was a big draw after discussing the move with Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe.

"It's a fantastic football club that has so much history and I'm really looking forward to getting started," he told the club's website.

"My main goal straight away is to fight for my place in the team and stay there.

"It's not going to be easy because there's a lot of competition for places, but it's a challenge I'm really looking forward to and the competitiveness can only help the team going forward.

"I spoke to Eddie Howe and he had such good words to say about Steve Cooper. I previously knew of him from my time at Liverpool, so I knew what a fantastic coach he was, but meeting him for the first time has been a breath of fresh air.

"He's told me what he expects and the high standards he sets, so I can hope I can come and help the team push to stay in the Premier League.

"I've been in this league a long time, I know what it takes to stay up and what it takes to get a good team to gel, so I'm looking forward to getting started and working with the players that are here."

Europe's elite clubs raced to beat the January transfer deadline as Pedro Porro signed for Tottenham and Enzo Fernandez neared a record Premier League move when the window slammed shut.

Argentina's World Cup winner Fernandez appeared set to complete a long-awaited move to Chelsea in a record-breaking Premier League transfer.

While Chelsea aimed to bring in the youthful Fernandez, veteran Italy international Jorginho departed as he joined Arsenal after Mikel Arteta's side were unable to secure Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

Manchester United also looked to strengthen their midfield with a loan deal for Bayern Munich's Sabitzer after an injury to key playmaker Christian Eriksen at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Tottenham solidified their defensive options by snaffling Spanish wing-back Porro from Sporting CP after lengthy negotiations.

Stats Perform provides a rundown of the notable deals as the mid-season transfer window finally closed.

 

BOEHLY BREAKS RECORD FOR FERNANDEZ

Fernandez emerged as a target for Chelsea following his influential displays for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar and the Blues' Todd Boehly-led consortium appear to have finally got their man. 

After already snatching Mykhaylo Mudryk from under the noses of Arsenal, Chelsea are set to splash a reported £105.5million (€120m) on Fernandez from Benfica.

That would break the Premier League record of £100m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish, as the Blues looked to secure the former River Plate midfielder on a reported seven-and-a-half-year contract.

ARSENAL'S CAICEDO BLUES CURED BY JORGINHO

Arteta and Arsenal's pursuit of Caicedo fell on deaf ears as Brighton refused to budge, despite the Gunners lodging a reported £70m bid for the 21-year-old.

After missing out on primary midfield target Caicedo, Jorginho switched the blue shirt of Chelsea for the red of Arsenal as he completed a reported £12m transfer to the Premier League leaders.

The 31-year-old will provide able competition for the impressive Thomas Partey after penning an 18-month contract at Emirates Stadium.

TEN HAG FINDS ERIKSEN COVER IN SABITZER

With Eriksen ruled out for three months, Erik ten Hag and United acted swiftly to attempt to bring in experienced midfielder Sabitzer on a short-term loan.

Opportunities had been hard to come by for the Austria international after joining Bayern from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021-22 season.

He started just 15 times in his 40 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, though he may now have the chance to impress in the Premier League with Ten Hag's resurgent Red Devils.

CONTE GETS PORRO AS DOHERTY AND SPENCE DEPART

It appeared Tottenham may not secure the services of attack-minded wing-back Porro, formerly of Girona and Manchester City, after it seemed negotiations had come to a halt with Sporting.

But Spurs confirmed the 23-year-old's arrival late on, with Porro signing a five-and-a-half-year deal after a reported £40m (€45m) move from Sporting, who signed Barcelona's Hector Bellerin as a replacement.

That transfer saw Djed Spence, who only signed from Middlesbrough in a deal worth up to £20m in July, sent out to Ligue 1's Rennes for the rest of the season on loan.

Fellow full-back Matt Doherty also made way as he joined Atletico Madrid on a six-month contract, with Spurs terminating the 31-year-old's contract to "enable him to join another club".

OTHER DEALS

Bournemouth paid their second-highest transfer fee in history for Illya Zabarnyi, parting with a reported £24m (€27.2m) for the Ukraine centre-back from Dynamo Kyiv.

Gary O'Neil's Bournemouth added a second signing soon after, confirming the arrival of Sassuolo midfielder Hamed Traore on a loan that will become permanent on a five-year deal in June.

Nottingham Forest continued their spending after signing Atletico centre-back Felipe on a deal that will run until 2024, while Jonjo Shelvey also arrived from Newcastle United on a deal until 2025, and a move for Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas on loan was reportedly nearing.

Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace bolstered their midfield by bringing in Naouirou Ahamada for a reported £10.5m (€12m) fee from Stuttgart, while Arsenal's Albert Sambi Lokonga joined on a six-month loan.

Leeds United's Diego Llorente joined Jose Mourinho's Roma on loan until the end of the season, with an option for a permanent transfer reportedly worth €18m (£15.9m).

Ayoze Perez is another Premier League player who will spend the second half of the term on loan, with the Leicester City forward moving to LaLiga side Real Betis.

Aleksandar Mitrovic's Serbia team-mate Sasa Lukic traded Torino for Fulham in a transfer reportedly worth £8.8m (€10m) including add-ons, signing a contract until June 2027.

Lukic will likely be joined by Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares after Marco Silva's side reportedly agreed to bring the former Southampton defender on a six-month loan.

Outside of England, Borussia Dortmund and Belgium midfielder Thorgan Hazard completed a short-term loan move to Eredivisie title hopefuls PSV.

Atletico Madrid completed the signing of Matt Doherty after his Tottenham contract was terminated to facilitate the transfer.

With Spurs set to bring in Pedro Porro from Sporting CP, Djed Spence was sent on loan to Ligue 1 side Rennes and fellow wing-back Doherty also left north London on Tuesday.

The Republic of Ireland defender was reportedly set to join Diego Simeone's side on loan but has signed a contract until the end of the season.

Spurs released a statement to confirm Doherty's contract had been terminated to "enable him to join another club".

The 31-year-old former Wolves defender follows in the footsteps of Kieran Trippier, who swapped Spurs for Atletico in 2019 and lifted the LaLiga title with the Rojiblancos in the 2020-21 season.

As Doherty heads to Madrid, Atletico defender Felipe goes the other way to England after completing a move to Nottingham Forest.

The 33-year-old started just two LaLiga games for Simeone's side this season, seemingly falling out of favour behind Mario Hermoso and Jose Gimenez.

Felipe's Atletico contract was due to expire in June before he signed a deal running until 2024 for Forest, where he looks forward to a new challenge in the Premier League.

"It was a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and I'm really excited to be part of this wonderful, fast-growing club," he told the club's official website.

"You can see it's a club looking to really grow. It's a big challenge for me and I made a clear decision to be part of the history here and grow with the club."

Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial will return for Manchester United's EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest, Erik ten Hag confirmed.

Sancho has not featured for United since October's 1-1 draw against Chelsea due to "circumstances with fitness and mood".

Meanwhile, Martial's last appearance came in the victory over Manchester City at Old Trafford earlier this month when he was withdrawn at half-time.

The pair are back available for United ahead of Wednesday's clash at Old Trafford, where the hosts lead 3-0 from last week's first leg.

"We have some issues," Ten Hag told club media on Tuesday.

"I think tomorrow that Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho will return in the game squad, but Scott McTominay will still be absent.

"I think also the next game [against Crystal Palace] he will be absent. We have to see how that process will go. And for the rest, I think everyone is fit."

Already having one foot in the EFL Cup final at Wembley, United will pay close attention to Tuesday's contest between Newcastle United and Southampton to discover their potential opponents.

United last won the EFL Cup in 2016-17 under Jose Mourinho, a season where the Europa League was also won and a campaign that represents the last time the club won a trophy.

Erik ten Hag is talking an excellent game, even when his Manchester United team perhaps let their standards slip.

It is a manager's duly to keep the confidence high, so when Ten Hag said United's defending was "unacceptable" after Sunday's 3-2 loss to Arsenal, he sought to qualify those comments the next time he spoke in public.

Ten Hag returned to the theme in a press conference before United's midweek EFL Cup semi-final win at Nottingham Forest, and this time his message was overwhelmingly positive.

"In general, Arsenal we defended very well," Ten Hag said. "I don't think they had clean shots. There was only one time, it was from a free-kick.

"For the rest it was only shots, cutbacks, shots from distance where a lot of defenders from us were in between the ball and the goal and that's what I meant after, all the goals were avoidable."

This is all about the power of positive thinking, with the Dutchman finding a way to infuse critical feedback with praise, but Opta's Arsenal game data firmly debunks the idea the Gunners rarely got close to the United goal.

Across the Premier League season to date, only once has a team had more shots inside the penalty area than the 20 that Arsenal had against United.

Manchester City, with 21 shots inside the area in a 3-1 victory at Leeds United in December, topped that, but for Ten Hag to suggest Arsenal rarely got close to the United goal is on the face of it misleading.

United's expected goals against (xGA) tally of 3.25 against Arsenal was the seventh-highest incurred by a Premier League team this season.

United also have number six on that list – with a 3.3 xGA total in the 6-3 thrashing by Manchester City in October.

These are the games where they have leaked chances in bulk, and good chances to boot.

It is worth saying such games stand out as being atypical of United this season.

Overall, United have done well in limiting chances in the Premier League, with their next two highest xGA totals being the 1.61 and 1.5 they conceded to Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion in their opening two games of the campaign.

Last season, United conceded xGA of above 2.00 in 12 Premier League games, so there are clear signs of major improvement.

The Brentford and Brighton games both resulted in defeats, but United have been a team transformed since August. In 10 of their 20 Premier League games this term, they have conceded under 1.00 xGA, majorly limiting the opposition's opportunities.

They went under that 1.00 mark for five consecutive league games before the Arsenal defeat.

Perhaps Ten Hag is working on the principle that if you say something firmly and assuredly enough, it will become a reality.

Against Forest in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, United were far more like their usual selves.

Forest had nine goal attempts from inside the United penalty area, but the xGA was a mere 0.65.

United's win at the City Ground has put them on the brink of the final, ahead of the Old Trafford second leg, with Ten Hag looking to guide the Red Devils to a first major trophy since the 2016-17 EFL Cup and Europa League triumphs under Jose Mourinho.

Among United's rivals for Champions League places, Manchester City and Newcastle United have built around defensive sturdiness this season.

There have been eight occasions when teams have faced three or fewer shots (including blocks) in Premier League games this season, and Newcastle have had three of those and City four. Brighton had the other, against Forest in October.

There have also been 11 occasions when a team have not faced a single shot on target, which can be put down to a mix of good defending and poor finishing.

Newcastle have had the most such games, with four of their opponents not managing to hit the target.

The fewest shots on target Manchester United have faced, curiously, is the one that Manchester City managed in January's derby. United also faced just five shots in total in that game - their fewest this term, again, and a sign Ten Hag is turning his team into a well-drilled unit, even if there continues to be the odd aberration.

Chelsea have spent plenty of money on recruitment during the January transfer window, landing Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueka, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Benoit Badiashile.

But the Blues may not be done with transfer activity before Tuesday's window closure.

Chelsea are still eager to bolster their midfield options, having missed out on a few key targets.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TO MOVE FOR EVERTON MIDFIELDER

Chelsea will move to sign unsettled Everton defensive midfielder Amadou Onana, according to The Times.

The Blues will divert their attention to the Senegal-born Belgium international after missing out on Benfica's Enzo Fernandez and Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

Onana was given a leave of absence from Everton training earlier this week and is unhappy given the club's plight with Frank Lampard sacked as manager this week.

 

ROUND-UP

Ferran Torres could be sold by Barcelona in the off-season, despite only joining the Blaugrana in January last year, reports Sport. Barca have ignored offers for the forward in January, despite some clubs wanting him on loan while the report links Atletico Madrid with the 22-year-old.

Milan are monitoring the status of Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo, according to The Sun. The Portuguese has struggled for games since the World Cup and could be open to a move.

Tottenham are getting closer to completing a deal for Sporting full-back Pedro Porro, reports The Guardian. Sporting are determined to recoup his buyout clause of €45 million (£39.7m), with talks, ongoing since the start of the month, getting towards a conclusion.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Weston McKennie has agreed personal terms with Leeds United however the move hinges on negotiations with Juventus about the transfer fee. Leeds' opening bid was €28m, but the Bianconeri want €35m.

– Everton are plotting a shock £25m move to sign Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech, claims Sky Sports. Roma are also interested in the 29-year-old too, while PSG are keeping tabs on him, according to Media Foot.

Nottingham Forest are weighing up a bid to sign 28-year-old Italian midfielder Roberto Gagliardini from Inter, claims Calciomercato.

Marcus Rashford looks like a "lean, fighting machine" according to former Manchester United captain Roy Keane.

The England international maintained his excellent form by giving United the lead in their EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Rashford has scored 18 goals for the Red Devils this season, with only Manchester City's Erling Haaland (31) recording more for a Premier League club.

"We were pitch-side when the players came out and he looked lean. You wouldn't want to be up against him – all the best," Keane said to Sky Sports.

"He looks like a lean, fighting machine."

The 25-year-old has thrived under Erik ten Hag, showing an immense improvement on his five goals in 32 games (18 starts) from last season.

"Sometimes it's about confidence – there is where he's peaking now. He's played a lot of games for United and big games for England in the last few years," Keane added.

"Sometimes the penny drops for a player in terms of decision-making and putting the ball in the back of the net. And they've needed him.

"The question mark I've had over Marcus in the last few years is, has he got that personality to step up to the plate?

"United have had some great strikers over the years, and I think they need someone like that. Marcus has to say he wants that responsibility to be the main man. The best players turn up week in and week out. It looks like he's now enjoying that responsibility, which is great to see."

It was put to Keane that Rashford has thrived since the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo, having scored 10 goals in 10 games in all competitions since end of the 2022 World Cup, the most of any player for clubs in Europe's big-five leagues in that time.

"When a player leaves the club the responsibility goes onto another player," Keane replied.

"He's 25, not a child, sometimes when the timing is right you can be ready for that. He doesn't get the niggly injuries anymore with his groin, he seems to have cleared it up. He looks in a great place mentally, too, which is huge. He said he reckons he took too much on away from football – and being a top footballer is hard enough.

"So putting the other stuff on the back burner and focusing on being a top player for Manchester United has seen him get his priorities right."

Erik ten Hag stressed Manchester United must not let their grip slip on games after their EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Nottingham Forest.

Goals from Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes delivered the Dutchman a convincing 3-0 win at the City Ground.

But Sam Surridge saw a would-be equaliser chalked off in the first half, in what proved to be a lucky escape for the visitors.

Ten Hag was delighted to see his side bounce back to winning ways after a Premier League loss to Arsenal but cautioned his side to watch their control in games.

"There was one moment that could have changed the game," he told Sky Sports. "That is where we need to improve.

"They changed the system, and we didn't anticipate that. It cannot happen. This is still where we have to learn and improve if [we] want to be top. These moments can't happen.

"We almost let them come [into] the game. We can't allow an opponent to get back when we started so good. We need to avoid that.

"I think in the second half, we were much more composed, and we tracked them. It was much better."

Striker Weghorst, who netted his first goal following his switch from Burnley, echoed his manager's sentiments.

"We didn't have the control like we wanted and [it] made it too up and down after," he added. "We were lucky their goal was disallowed.

"We were not happy with the way we had played in the first half [but] the [goal] at the end it made it even better. It's a great result for us tonight, [so] let's finish it next week."

United will host Forest at Old Trafford next Wednesday for the second leg.

Manchester United put one foot into the EFL Cup final with an assured 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.

Goals for Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst – his first for the club – and Bruno Fernandes secured victory for the visitors at the City Ground.

After dropping points in back-to-back Premier League games against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, it marked a return to winning ways for Erik ten Hag's men.

For Steve Cooper's hosts though, it marks a bitterly disappointing result, with any chance of a comeback at Old Trafford now likely scotched.

United needed just six minutes to carve Forest open, with Rashford afforded space to scamper down the left wing and squeeze between two defenders before beating Wayne Hennessey at the near post.

Forest thought they had equalised with a superb breakaway finished by Sam Surridge in the 23rd minute, only for the VAR to deem the striker offside.

The hosts looked to be growing into the game after that but received a sucker punch on the stroke of half-time when Weghorst turned in after Antony's effort was parried.

Christian Eriksen nearly added a third nine minutes after the interval, his looping attempt hitting the crossbar.

With time running out, Forest called upon former United midfielder Jesse Lingard from the bench in the hope of salvaging something for the second leg.

But the result was put beyond doubt in the 89th minute, Fernandes drilling into the bottom-left corner to surely send United to Wembley.

Newcastle United are reportedly confident they will be able to secure Everton forward Anthony Gordon before the end of January.

Gordon, 21, has been with Everton since arriving as an 11-year-old back in 2012, and he broke into the first team this last season with 25 starts among his 35 Premier League appearances.

He appeared to be in the midst of a stellar campaign after scoring in back-to-back matches in August, but along with Everton, he has tailed off dramatically, finding the back of the net just once in his past 11 league fixtures.

Despite his recent lack of success – having only made one league start since the beginning of November – the young Englishman still has his fans, although he still carries a hefty price tag.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE PUSHING FOR GORDON MOVE IN THE NEXT WEEK

According to Goal, Newcastle believe they are in "pole position" to land the England Under-21 representative, with Gordon reportedly missing training on Tuesday as speculation builds.

The report states Everton will hold firm at £50million as their asking price, and with his contract tying him to the club until 2025, there is little incentive to budge from that figure for the time being.

With Frank Lampard fired as Everton boss, it remains to be seen if his replacement would like to feature Gordon prominently, but if not, he could provide the club with some much-needed spending power and manoeuvrability.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Guardian is reporting 21-year-old Villarreal forward Nicolas Jackson will undergo a medical at Bournemouth on Wednesday ahead of confirming a £20.3m (€23m) signing.

– After missing out on Nicolas Jackson, Southampton will now focus their attention on 22-year-old Marseille winger Bamba Dieng, per the Daily Express.

– According to The Evening Standard, Arsenal will join Chelsea in the pursuit of 21-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo at the end of the season, while The Times adds the Seagulls are valuing him at £100m.

Aston Villa were prepared to break their club-record signing and activate the £45m (€50m) release clause in the contract of Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams, but the Spanish international rejected their advances. The English club will instead turn to 22-year-old Real Betis forward Luiz Henrique, who is believed to cost £20m (€22m), per the Daily Mail.

– The Daily Mail is also reporting Nottingham Forest are investigating a potential loan deal for 36-year-old Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas after an injury to first-choice shot-stopper Dean Henderson.

Erik ten Hag changed his tone and declared he was happy with Manchester United's overall defending this season, despite criticising his team after their 3-2 loss to Arsenal.

United fell 11 points behind the Gunners in the race for the Premier League title, with Eddie Nketiah scoring a late winner at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

After that game, Ten Hag said United's defensive failings had been "unacceptable".

Speaking ahead of an EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Nottingham Forest, Ten Hag explained he was talking about defending of the goals specifically and is otherwise pleased with his team's efforts at the back, although there are lessons to be taken on board.

"I think in a lot of games we defended very well, we had a lot of clean sheets," Ten Hag said.

"Against Man City [in United's recent 2-1 win at Old Trafford], we defended very well. I think, in general, also against Arsenal, we defended well.

"I don't think they had many clean shots, I think the one time was from a free-kick. But the rest were shots from distance, when we had a lot of defenders in between the ball and the goal.

"That's what I meant when I said all the goals were avoidable and it can't happen. That was my point: when you concede three goals in a top game, it is very hard to win the game.

"That is what happened so that is one of the conclusions. It can't happen. We set that conclusion... we have to learn and take this lesson."

Ten Hag – who ruled Diogo Dalot, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial out of the Forest game – also spoke about the importance of winning trophies, with United hoping to end a run without one since May 2017.

The 52-year-old won three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups and a Johan Cruyff Shield in his time in charge of Ajax, and said: "It's about that, it's about winning trophies.

"We have a good opportunity, but we have to go from game to game. So now we play Forest, two legs, so focus on the first leg and don't think further ahead because that will distract. So the aim for tomorrow is to win that game.

“It is the best feeling you can have, winning a trophy. I had the luck in my career to win some trophies and it was magnificent, especially for the fans. It's so great.

“The fans here, they have some experience, especially the older fans. And now it's a period when Manchester United didn't win any trophies and it's too long ago, so we are aware of that fact. We have to do everything to bring a trophy in."

Newcastle United striker Chris Wood has joined Nottingham Forest on an initial loan deal, which is set to become permanent at the end of the season.

Wood only signed for Newcastle in January 2022, leaving then-relegation rivals Burnley in a £25million move.

Although Burnley were subsequently relegated, Newcastle stayed up comfortably under Eddie Howe and a year later are well in contention for Champions League qualification.

But having started 15 of his 17 Premier League appearances for the Magpies last term, Wood's 18 outings in this campaign have included only four starts and account for a meagre 437 minutes.

Wood found himself behind the fit-again Callum Wilson and club-record signing Alexander Isak in the pecking order, with the New Zealand international having scored just four times across 35 appearances.

He will instead spend at least the rest of the season at Forest, who have recruited Wood following news of an injury to Taiwo Awoniyi as they bid to secure their Premier League status for next season.

The agreement contains "a conditional obligation to become a permanent deal", Forest confirmed, with reports suggesting the achievable criteria of those conditions will lead to a £15m move.

Wood was no longer a starter at St James' Park, but only Jacob Murphy (36) had made more Premier League appearances for Newcastle since his arrival from Burnley, and Howe wants a replacement for the 31-year-old forward.

Ahead of the transfer on Friday, Howe said: "Hopefully, we're planning to replace him.

"Certainly, from my side, there was no thought of letting a player go and not replacing [them]. I think that would leave us dangerously short of players."

Howe acknowledged the club were now in a "difficult situation" in the transfer market but recognised Wood's departure represented "a very good deal financially".

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