"A dream come true for me" | Odion Ighalo took pay cut to seal move to United

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:43 5 Feb 2020

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Odion Ighalo says it was nice to turn a dream into a reality by signing for Manchester United on transfer deadline day.

Ighalo, a lifelong United supporter, joined the Premier League club from Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old Nigeria forward says he was so desperate for the move to happen that he took a pay cut to make sure the deal went through.

Speaking to MUTV, Ighalo said: "A few other clubs had shown interest, I said please, just pick United, if it's going to be possible.

"At 11 pm 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.

"My agent wants to speak to you, United are coming for me, you have to make this happen."

The former Watford striker was delighted to finally get his dream move sorted.

"I supported the team when I was young. People that know me, even back in Nigeria, and even when I was playing at Watford, my team-mates knew that I loved Man United, I support them.

"When I played against Man U, that emotion is there, because it is my dream. It is a nice reality, so I’m very happy and I’m looking forward to start.”

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is short of options in attack due to Marcus Rashford's injury and the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez last summer.

Ighalo is looking forward to playing with his new team-mates and he knows what to expect.

"They have a striker that stays mostly in the middle, but Martial likes to come from the side, even Rashford and all that, so you need someone in the middle that can keep the ball, hold the ball, because I’ve watched so many United games.

"So they need a physicality there up front to keep the ball, to give and to make some movement, which I believe, if everything goes well, I can add to the team."

Ighalo will be the first Nigerian to play for United, something he is very proud of.

I’m really proud. I’m happy because people keep sending me messages, I know that this is very big, you’re going to be the first Nigerian to play for United, it’s a good record for you in your career, I know that.

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