Manchester United News: Odion Ighalo reveals he took a pay-cut to join the Red Devils
New Manchester United signing Odion Ighalo has revealed that he took a pay-cut to join the Red Devils. The Nigerian made the move to Old Trafford from Shanghai Shenhua on Deadline day in a loan deal until the end of the season. The Red Devils had a chaotic end to the January transfer window, as they attempted to find a cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.
The Englishman is out with a double stress fracture in his back and is not expected to return before April. United missed out on Erling Haaland at the start of the window and then attempted to bring in Danny Ings and Joshua King on deadline day, before finally settling on Ighalo. It was a move that surprised football fans around the world, but for the player, it was a dream come true.
Ighalo had his heart set on a move to Old Trafford
It was later revealed that the Red Devils faced competition from Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan, among others, for the player's signature, but the former Watford striker had his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.
In his first interview with MUTV after completing the move, Ighalo revealed that even though there was interest from other clubs, his first preference was always Manchester United.
A few other clubs had shown interest. I said 'please, just pick United, if it's going to be possible'.
The Nigerian went on to reveal how the events had unfolded on deadline day and mentioned that he had to search for a translator later at night to inform his parent club of his desire to join United.
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 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.
Ighalo recalled that he did not sleep that night as the negotiations lasted until early morning local time. In the middle, his agent called him up and informed him that he had to take a pay-cut if he wanted to move. However, for the Nigerian, it was an easy decision.
He [Ighalo’s agent] 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.
Ighalo also went on to remember growing up in his country watching Manchester United play on TV and idolizing Andy Cole. He expressed confidence in his style of play and hoped to add both physicality and poise in the box for his team. The 30-year-old striker went on to revel in his dream move to his favourite club but mentioned that he was motivated enough to take it up as a challenge too.
I never thought this [the move to United] 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.
Published 05 Feb 2020, 21:24 IST