United, who yesterday sold goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to AFC Bournemouth for a fee in excess of £1m, last night announced Chapman would be returning to Bramall Lane after Chris Wilder claimed his previous agreement had been terminated earlier this month.
Although Wilder made no secret of the fact he wanted to re-sign the 19-year-old, concerns United would leave themselves financially exposed if Chapman suffered a set-back in his battle for fitness threatened to scupper the proposal. But Middlesbrough’s willingness to compromise - the League One club will not begin contributing towards the midfielder’s wages until he is available for selection - allowed it to be processed before the 11pm deadline.
United, who signed four new players during the January transfer window, will begin plotting their summer recruitment drive following Saturday’s game against AFC Wimbledon. Wigan Athletic’s Andy Kellett could emerge as a target after sources in the North-West claimed Wilder had been monitoring the defender before Christmas.
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Chapman made 11 appearances for United before damaging his ankle in December.