Guus Hiddink
Guus Hiddink had a major part to play in Castillo captureGetty

Chelsea have beaten Manchester United to the signing of Ajax midfielder Juan Familia Castillo, despite the Red Devils being first movers to secure his signature. The Blues made a late swoop for the 16-year-old and are believed to have offered better terms to Ajax, which turned the tide in their favour.

The Daily Mail reports that Guus Hiddink's influence had a major part to play in the deal coupled with uncertainty in United's youth academy. Castillo is captain of the Dutch U-16 team and has been earmarked for an extremely bright future in the near future.

United had opened talks with the player in November which went on till December, but their inability to move fast scuppered the deal, as Chelsea completed the transfer. This is the second time this season that United have lost out to Chelsea, having gone down the same road with Barcelona winger Pedro last summer, who made a last minute move to Stamford Bridge despite interest from Old Trafford.

Both teams are in the market to strengthen in January, having failed to live up to expectations thus far this season. The Blues managed an injury time draw against Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 16 January, in controversial circumstances, as John Terry's equaliser, scored well past the designated injury time, was deemed offside from replays.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils had some drama of their own, as they drew 3-3 with Newcastle in mid-week, succumbing to yet another draw, casting doubts over their chances of qualifying for the top four. United face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, 17 January, where a win will keep them two points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham, but a loss will see Liverpool go level on points with the 20-time English Champions.

The reverse fixture between the two teams at Old Trafford ended in a 3-1 win for the Red Devils, but times have changed, with Jurgen Klopp breathing new life into the Reds as they look to renew their long- standing rivalry.