Manchester United have secure a last-minute loan deal for Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo, on a six-month loan deal from the Chinese club
United’s hopes were looking dashed but just before the deadline passed they sealed a loan deal for Ighalo that will reportedly see cough out £4million to Shanghai Shenhua football Club.
It was a race against time to get the deal done before the end of the transfer window, but United completed his signing in the nick of time.
“Odion is an experienced player,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“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 who moved to the Chinese Super League in 2017, first with Changchun Yatai. After two seasons he moved to Shanghai Shenhua and has scored 10 times in 19 games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope Ighalo can bring goals to his side, along with fellow new signing Bruno Fernandes, who completed his transfer from Sporting on Thursday.
His record in England is an impressive one, scoring 40 goals and registering 11 assists in 100 appearances for Watford, where he spent two-and-a-half-years. That’s a one-in-two ratio for goal involvements
Manchester United will pay a £3m loan fee as well as the player’s £100,000-a-week wages until the end of the season.
Ighalo began his professional career in his native Nigeria with local clubs Prime and Julius Berger, before sealing a transfer to Norwegian side Lyn in 2007.
A year later, a move to Udinese in Italy eventually led to loan spells with Granada (twice), Cesena and Watford in the Premier League.
While at Vicarage Road with the Hornets, Ighalo impressively scored 40 goals from exactly 100 appearances across all competitions.
During that time he made three appearances against United and one at Old Trafford, losing twice and winning once, while also earning an assist.
That fruitful spell with Watford convinced Chinese team Changchun Yatai to sign him in 2017 and, two years later, in 2019, the Nigerian linked up with Shanghai Greenland Shenua.
Across all clubs in his career so far, Ighalo has scored 131 goals from 322 appearances.
The forward has also earned 35 caps for Nigeria and scored 16 times, notably finishing as top scorer in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Speaking in 2016, Ighalo admitted that United would be a dream move for him as a lifelong supporter of the Reds.