Reports: Watford turn down £38m offer for Odion Ighalo from Shanghai SIPG
Watford have turned down a big-money offer by Chinese club Shanghai SIPG for striker Odion Ighalo according to reports. The Hornets who finished 13th in the English Premier League last season are determined to retain the Nigerian’s services and are unwilling to sell him for £38 million offered by Shanghai SIPG.
Watford owner Giampaolo Pozzo has recently rejected a £30m offer from Premier League champions Leicester City for Troy Deeney and is keen to hold on to his star players for the upcoming season.
Ighalo first joined the Hornets in 2014 as a loanee from Udinese which was soon converted to a permanent deal after only three months into the season. The 6-foot-2 striker has scored 37 goals in 63 appearances for the English side since.
Ighalo helped Watford finish second in The Championship in his first season which helped them to gain promotion to the Premier League for the 2015-16 season. Scoring 17 goals from 42 appearances, the 27-year-old’s contribution was key to Watford’s survival last season.
The free-spending Chinese club recently acquired Brazillian forward Hulk from Zenit St Petersburg for a record £46.1m, the highest by any Asian club. The previous Chinese record fee was held by Jiangsu Suning when they snatched Alex Texeira for £40m from Shakhtar Donetsk last February.
Chinese clubs are going on the spending spree of late, but it seems that they would not be able to lure some players into the league even after the staggering fees that are involved.
Shanghai SIPG manager Sven Goran Eriksson was keen to partner Ighalo alongside the recently acquired Hulk. The team from Shanghai also have former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan in their squad.
They are currently fourth in the Chinese Super League after a five-game winless slide. After 15 games, they are 12 points behind leaders Guangzhou Everglade. Shanghai is also in danger of not qualifying for next season’s AFC Champions League if they fail to finish in the top three in the league table.
On the other side, Watford are looking to better their standing in the Premier League table next season after signing Liverpool striker Jerome Sinclair who rejected a new contract offer at Anfield. It will be a new beginning for Watford as Walter Mazzarri was appointed as the successor of Quique Sanchez Flores. The Italian will be looking to keep his squad intact for next year which would give them a chance to improve upon their performances this season.