Ex-Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has joined Manchester United on loan from his Chinese side Shangai Shenhua in a shock moved that was completed just before the close of the January transfer window on Friday, January 30, 2020.
The move was done in the last minutes of the transfer window as Manchester United sought cover in their No. 9 position following the long-term injury to Marcus Rashford.
Manchester United have been considering the Nigerian striker alongside other options like Algerian and Leicester City striker Islam Slimani who is on loan at Monaco and Bournemouth's Josh King who became a target on transfer deadline day.
There was no follow up on the Slimani report while Manchester United were priced out of getting King.
Ighalo's loan deal to join Manchester United was completed with just an hour to go in the transfer window as he turned down Tottenham and Inter Milan.
The 30-year-old had also emerged as a short-term option for Tottenham who are looking for an option following Harry Kane's injury and Inter Milan who wanted a back-up for Romelu Lukaku.
No option to buy
Ighalo will travel to England in the next few days to join his new side.
According to Daily Mail, Ighalo's loan deal will cost Manchester United £3million and they will also have to pay a third of the striker's £300,000-per-week contract with Chinese Super League (CSL) club Shanghai Shenhua.
The deal does not include an option to buy.
Ighalo returns to England where played in the Premier League with Watford and scored 17 goals in 55 league appearances for the Hornets before securing a move to CSL side Changchun Yatai in 2017.
The former Nigeria international has not done badly too in Asia where he scored a total of 36 goals in 55 appearances for Changchun Yatai in the first season in the CSL.
He left Yatai for another Chinese side in 2018 and managed 10 goals in 19 games.
Manchester United will be Ighalo's 10th club. The striker started his career in Nigeria before moving to Norway to play for Lyn in 2007.
From Norway, he secured a move to Udinese before stints in two different loan stints at Spanish side Granada in between a short stay in Italy with Cesena before his move to England to join Watford.
Ighalo was in January 2019, a target for Barcelona who were looking at signing the striker as a back-up option for Luis Suarez but the Nigerian turned it down to remain in China because he didn’t want to be a back-up striker.
It was different this time as the started of the 2020 CSL season had been postponed indefinitely following the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the Asian country.