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Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke, right, and Newcastle’s Emil Krafth battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match at Selhurst Park in London, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

D.C. United has made a significant move at the end of the MLS transfer deadline, signing Christian Benteke from English Premier League side Crystal Palace as its third designated player, the club announced Friday afternoon.

Benteke, 31, will join on a permanent transfer, requiring United to pay a transfer fee. He signed a two-and-a-half-year deal through 2024 with a club option in 2025, club officials said in a news release. He can start playing with his new club once he receives his work visa.

“Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time,” head coach Wayne Rooney said in a statement. “His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It’s exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference.”

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The Washington Post, which first reported the Black and Red’s pursuit of Benteke, reports that the Belgian striker will be the highest paid player in club history, surpassing Rooney’s $3.5 million deal in 2019.

Benteke spent the last 10 seasons in the English Premier League with multiple clubs, including Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Crystal Palace. In those seasons, he scored 86 goals and recorded 23 assists in 280 Premier League Appearances.

This story is developing. Stay with WTOP for more. 

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Gary Neville brands Man Utd’s shambolic first half vs Brentford the worst he’s EVER seen in 42 years of watching them

GARY NEVILLE branded Manchester United's shambolic first half at Brentford as the worst 45 minutes he has EVER seen in 42 years of watching the club.

And then he brutally said it was an "achievement" to spend £1billion on transfers and still be this woeful.

4Manchester United conceded four times to Brentford in a nightmare first halfCredit: Getty 4Gary Neville let rip at the flops for their embarrassing displayCredit: Getty

"Its a real achievement to spend a billion pounds and be this bad" ????

Brentfords starting XI: £55m
Manchester Uniteds starting XI: £424m

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 13, 2022

The Red Devils capitulated by conceding FOUR goals in an embarrassing performance away at Brentford.

And the catalogue of errors - namely a pair of utter howlers from David de Gea - as well as a furious reaction from Cristiano Ronaldo as tensions rose only added to the humiliation.

This is now three years in a row that United have conceded four goals in the first half after the batterings by Tottenham and Liverpool at Old Trafford.

And former right-back Neville laid into Erik ten Hag's side with a brutal assessment during the 4-0 hammering to slump to the bottom of the table.

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The 47-year-old said: "I've watched Manchester United for 42 years and I can't think of a moment where it has been as bad as the first half. 

"There is a huge job to do, below Erik ten Hag and above him. They haven't got the players in and they have been left short.

"He is still getting to grips with the league. There's an embedded rot at the club.

"If I was them [Glazers] I would get over here this week and try to take the pressure off those below before Liverpool because it's going to get out of control. 

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"If you want to look at a team who lack character, it is the ones who lose away, concede set pieces and have low running stats. Manchester United are miserable in all those areas. 

"Ralf Rangnick called it open heart surgery. To not get the players in early that Ten Hag needed to start the season with is baffling and difficult to forgive. 

"You look at United recruitment this summer there has been no plan. Every other team seems to have one. You need a plan.

"It's a real achievement to spend a billion pounds and be this bad. 

"It doesn't take much to dismantle this United team. You just need organization and fight and they will crumble. Flaky like you wouldn't believe. They're like jelly."

Neville also compared the United team, featuring 5ft 9ins Lisandro Martinez at centre-back, to a bunch of "Under-9s" as they were dominated by the brilliant Bees.


He added: "If you'd said to be before the game Brentford might score from a free-kick, I would have said yeah.

"Ten Hag has picked the smallest team he could hoping they would outplay Brentford. You have to deal with the physical side of the Premier League. It's like a men's team against Under-9s.

"Last Sunday didn’t surprise me. I thought they would do better today away from Old Trafford.

"But they have been mauled. Bullied. Messed around with like you wouldn’t believe in this first half hour.

"What a first half we are seeing. The demolition of Manchester United."

And when the Sky Sports cameras cut to a pair of blokes enjoying a drink on their balcony in the sunshine overlooking the Gtech Community Stadium, Neville joked: "They're a lot happier than me - can I join them?"


At half-time, pundits Jamie Redknapp and Karen Carney also blasted the pathetic United team.

Redknapp said: "I have never seen a 45 in the Premier League quite like this.

"They have not got after Brentford or won second balls.

"It's such poor goalkeeping.

"Someone has got to take responsibility, it is brilliant from Brentford, great finish but I cannot believe what I am watching.

"They have got the Man United badge on but look they have just been thrown out there. They are showing no care."

Carney added: "We saw last week they are not good enough playing out.

"Brentford have bullied them - they've been top drawer, front footed, aggressive and physical."

4Mathias Jensen pounced on another David de Gea error to make it 2-0Credit: AFP 4Cristiano Ronaldo and Lisandro Martinez could barely believe what happenedCredit: Getty

"Its like theyre a team, theyve got the Man United badge on but theyre just thrown out there."

Jamie Redknapp says the #MUFC players are showing no responsibility but Erik ten Hag is also to blame for them being 4-0 down at half-time ????

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 13, 2022

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