Odion Ighalo, the striker from Nigeria is headed to Old Trafford after Premier League franchise Manchester United brought him on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua. Ighalo’s contract runs up till the end of the season, although there is no option to buy.
As per ESPN sources, the 30-year-old also received an offer from Tottenham Hotspur but gave the nod to United, since it’s a club he supported as a young boy. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope to look up to Ighalo to fill the void caused by Marcus Rashford’s absence.
“Odion is an experienced player,” he said. “He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us. A great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here.”
Ighalo left Watford – a club for which he scored 15 goals from 37 games during the 2015-16 season – in 2017 to move to China. After spending two seasons with Changchun Yatai, he went to Shanghai Shenhua and scored 10 goals from 19 games for them. Ighalo emerged the leading goal-scorer in the African Cup of Nations hitting the net seven times before scoring five at the tournament during the summer.
Ighalo’s signing comes inside two days of United completing the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP. The amount of the year-year-contract – with the option of being extended by a year – is unknown but it is believed it could be up to €80 million. The 25-year-old could not hide the excitement of joining United, calling the entire experience “incredible”.
“My love of Manchester United really started when I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo play, and ever since then I have been a big fan of this great club,” he said.
“For me to now play for Manchester United feels incredible. I have worked hard to get to this moment and I can promise the fans that I will give everything for the badge to help bring us more success and trophies.
“I want to thank Sporting for everything they have done for me. It is surreal to hear the nice words that have been said about me from players that used to play for this team. A massive thank you to Ole and everyone at Manchester United for the trust they have shown in me, and I can’t wait to start to repay that on the pitch.”
United manager Solskjaer said: “We have been tracking Bruno for many months, and everyone here has been tremendously impressed with all his attributes and what he will bring to this team.
“Most importantly he is a terrific human being with a great personality and his leadership qualities are clear for all to see.
“Bruno’s goals and assists stats speak for themselves, he will be a fantastic addition to our team and he will help us push on in the second part of the season. The winter break is coming at a perfect time for us to integrate Bruno into the squad and for him to get to know his teammates.”