Bottom-placed Hull dominate activity


LONDON — While the Premier League’s top teams were quiet on a low-key final day of Europe’s winter transfer window, Hull and Crystal Palace were busy Tuesday in late bids for survival.

There were no incomings at the top four teams in the league — Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool — who were all playing games on Tuesday night. With 14 of the league’s 20 teams in action as the 2300 GMT trading deadline loomed, that proved an additional complicating factor for completing deals.

“I’d go back to the open market, it is just a crazy situation,” said Tony Pulis, whose West Bromwich Albion side drew 1-1 at Middlesbrough before signing Marc Wilson on loan from Bournemouth as defensive cover. “To have it on the final day and arrange games is just astonishing really.”

The only news coming out of Manchester United was manager Jose Mourinho saying Wayne Rooney wasn’t for sale, amid regular reported interest from the Chinese Super League, and that winger Ashley Young also would be staying put, at least until the end of the season.

Hull Most of the transfer activity was taking place at the bottom-place team, where recently appointed manager Marco Silva has been busy revamping the squad in an attempt to stay another season in the world’s most lucrative league.

Midfielder Alfred N’Diaye signed on a temporary deal from Villarreal until the end of the season, subject to international clearance. The 26-year-old N’Diaye is back in England after playing for Sunderland between 2013 and 2014.

Italy defender Andrea Ranocchia also joined on loan from Inter Milan after making just five league appearances for the Italian side this season. He said he could not resist the lure of the Premier League and could get the most daunting debut imaginable — away to United on Wednesday.

Crystal Palace The relegation-threatened club signed defensive midfielder Luka Milivojevic from Greek club Olympiakos on a deal through June 2020 and Mamadou Sakho joined from Liverpool for the rest of the season.

Watford Odion Ighalo is swapping the Premier League for the Chinese Super League after leaving Watford for Changchun Yatai against his manager’s wishes.

Despite having signed forwards M’Baye Niang and Mauro Zarate from Milan and Fiorentina earlier in the transfer window, Watford manager Walter Mazzarri was disappointed to have lost the Nigerian striker.

Midfielder Adlene Guedioura left Watford on Tuesday for Middlesbrough.