Daily Briefing

Today’s back pages: Man Utd serve up a ‘Special Bru’ ahead of transfer deadline day scramble

A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 31 January

Deadline day scramble

Several papers splash photos of Bruno Fernandes signing his Manchester United contract alongside a beaming boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the Daily Star and Metro headlining the image “Special Bru”. 

The Sporting Lisbon star yesterday penned a five-and-a-half-year contract, with the option of a further 12 months, in a deal that could “potentially rise to £67.7m”. 

But The Daily Telegraph claims that Solskjaer isn’t done yet with his shopping spree and is hoping to land an “11th-hour” deal today before the transfer window slams shut at 11pm.

With star striker Marcus Rashford sidelined for months with a double stress fracture in his back, Norwegian Solskjaer is apparently badgering the United board to give him the green light to sign a world-class marksman, either permanently or on a loan deal until the end of the season. 

So, for that matter, are Tottenham and Chelsea, after injuries to Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham respectively.

According to the Telegraph, United “have been offered a host of forwards, including former Watford striker Odion Ighalo, Edinson Cavani at Paris Saint-Germain and Leicester flop Islam Slimani, who is currently on loan at Monaco”. 

But reports emerging from Paris last night suggest that Cavani - who is also on Chelsea’s radar - has failed in his bid to force his way out of PSG this month. 

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Watson blow for England

The Times, Telegraph and Express all report the news that England winger Anthony Watson has been withdrawn from the squad to face France in the Six Nations opener on Sunday because of a calf injury. 

Watson was in spectacular form during the Rugby World Cup and his absence is a blow to head coach Eddie Jones, particularly as Jack Nowell is also crocked. 

Jones has shuffled his backline as a result of Watson’s withdrawal with Elliot Daly moving from full-back to left wing to accommodate George Furbank, the 23-year-old uncapped Northampton No.15. 

France named their team yesterday and there are two new faces in full-back Anthony Bouthier and prop Mohamed Haouas. 

Today’s newspaper back pages

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