Manchester United have signed Odion Ighalo on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
After seeing a deadline day bid to sign Bournemouth’s Joshua King fail, The Red Devils turned to the former Watford striker and closed the deal in the final hour of the transfer window. He joins the club until the end of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was desperate to bolster his attacking forces after the transfer of Romelu Lukaku, loan of Alexis Sanchez and injury to Marcus Rashford.
Ighalo has Premier League experience, having scored 40 goals in 100 games for the Hornets. He has also played in Norway with Lyn Oslo (9 goals in 20 games), in Italy with Udinese (1 goal in 8 games) and in Spain with Granada (13 goals in 73 games).
He has scored 10 goals in 19 games for Shanghai this season and netted 36 in 55 games last season for Changchun Yatai.
The Chinese Superleague has been suspended due to the coronavirus, and the Shanghai club were keen to share some of the player’s £300,000 per week salary in the coming weeks.
Ighalo is a childhood United fan. ‘They were my team growing up. I loved watching Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke on TV. They were my idols and playing at Old Trafford has always been a dream’ he told The Sun in 2016.
The 30-year-old will be the first Nigerian international to play for United’s first eleven. His loan fee is said to be £3m and United will pay him just over £100,000-a-week – a third of his wages – until the end of the season. There is understood to be no option to buy in the deal.
The club officially announced the loan just after midnight.
✍ #MUFC can confirm that Odion Ighalo will join us on loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.
Welcome, Odion! 🔴
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 1, 2020
The player will not be available for selection for today’s game against Wolves as he is awaiting clearance to travel from China.