Former Nigerian footballer and Shanghai Shenhua striker, Odion Ighalo has disclosed that he took a cut to complete his dreams of playing for Manchester United.
Ighalo, who completed his move from Watford in January, 2017, to Chinese Super League, Shanghai Shenhua, said he grab the offer to return to the Premier League with the Red Devil, the club he supported as a boy in Ajegunle, Nigeria.
Several football clubs, including Tottenham and Inter Milan, showed late interest in signing Ighalo but he was determined to become the first Nigerian to play for United. He joined United on loan until the end of the season.
The 30-year-old Nigerian born forward, who will wear No 25 shirt, is confident he can boost United’s attack, which has struggled without Rashford.
In a chat with MUTV, he said: “I Make this deal happen. I want to go to United. I don’t care how much is the pay cut, I know that, make it happen.”
Odion Ighalo has revealed he took a pay cut in order to complete his dream Deadline Day move from Shanghai Shenhua to Manchester United.
“A few other clubs had shown interest. I said ‘please, just pick United, if it’s going to be possible’.
“At 11pm in Shanghai, my agent called me [to say] that United want to do the deal, so I woke up that night and started looking for a translator to go to the directors’ room and hit his door and all that. ‘My agent wants to speak to you, United are coming for me, you have to make this happen’ and all that you know.
“So, they started talking and discussing. I didn’t sleep throughout that night, because it was going to end at 7am, Shanghai time, and the transfer (window) is going to close there.
“So, from 11pm, there was paperwork, negotiating and all that, for the loan deal and all that, so we are talking and other teams are calling them, wanting me, but I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here.
“He said you’re going to get a pay cut to go to United. I said I don’t care. Make this deal happen. I want to go to United. I don’t care how much is the pay cut, I know that, make it happen.”
“When we were young back in Nigeria we used to watch the Premier League on TV a lot, when the likes of Andy Cole used to play.
“People support Man United a lot back there in Nigeria, so I developed that love, because all of my siblings, they are Man United fans.
“I never thought this was going to happen, but dreams do come true, so I’m very happy to be here and this is going to be a big and good challenge for me in my career.”
“They have a striker that stays mostly in the middle, because (Anthony) Martial likes to come from the side, even Rashford and all that,” Ighalo said, having called injured Rashford “one of the best, if not the best, player in Europe right now,” Ighalo said.