Ighalo recalls how his move to Man United was sealed on deadline day

Odion Ighalo recalls how he ran around a Chinese hotel at 11pm to get Shanghai Shenhua officials to help push through his dream move to Manchester United hours before the transfer window closed

  • Odion Ighalo thought a dream move to Manchester United wouldn’t go through
  • This was until he got a call hours before the transfer window closed in January
  • The striker had to wake up Shanghai Shenhua officials to help seal the move 
  • The deal was completed and the loan deal was then extended by six months 
  • Ighalo is set to return to the Chinese club next month when the deal expires 

Odion Ighalo has recalled how he rushed around a Shanghai hotel after finding out Manchester United were putting in an offer for him, hours before the January transfer window closed. 

The Nigerian striker signed a six-month loan deal back in January, which was then extended for a further six months.

Ighalo is set to return to Chinese club Shanghai Shenua, when his dream spell at the club he supported growing up, comes to an end on January 31.  

Odion Ighalo has recalled how anxious he was for his deal to Manchester United to be sealed

The striker ran around a Chinese hotel to get Shanghai Shenhua officials to allow him to join

The 31-year-old told the official Manchester United Podcast of how talks of a dream move first came about.

He said: ‘My agent told me he wants to see if I can go on loan to the UK, Manchester United were looking for a short loan, they were looking for a striker as Marcus Rashford was injured and he asked ‘what do you think about that?

‘I said ‘what club did you just mention?’ and he said ‘Manchester United’. Since that day he mentioned this name I did not sleep. He said I wasn’t the only option as they have four or five other options.

‘But every night I pray and say to God ‘don’t allow them to take any of the other strikers they’re gonna take me’.’ 

Ighalo said his agent did not hear anything back and that it looked the Red Devils were chasing other players.

However, a day before the transfer window was going to close, Ighalo said he got a call from his agent saying the club were interested as they could not sign their other targets. 

Ighalo has enjoyed his time at Manchester United, with his loan deal expiring next month

Still he had to wait until the day the window closed before he got another call from his agent with a further update.

He said: ‘It was like 11pm in Shanghai and my agent called me saying ‘Manchester United want to do this deal and we need to talk to them’. I remember I was naked in bed trying to sleep when I got the call and he told me to get up and get changed.

‘I ran out of my room and knocked on my director’s door, he couldn’t speak English, so I went to the translator and he said ‘what’s going on?’ This is 11pm at night the night’ and I said ‘where is the director my agent wants to speak to him as Manchester United are interested.

 ‘My agent told me I would get a pay cut and I said ‘I don’t care if I get a pay cut just make the deal happen. I wanna go’. 

‘When Manchester United sent the offer, my agent showed me offer and when I saw the Manchester United logo on headed paper I was shivering and praying that this happened.

Ighalo has scored five goals in his 23 appearances during his time at the Red Devils

‘They then they negotiated, talked about the contract, my head was heavy. I was panicking, looking at the news wanted to see what was going on. 

‘At 6am I got the message saying the deal went through. I was lying in bed, shedding tears and called my mum.’

Ighalo added: ‘Still today it feels like a dream and see how everything happen. My dream club, not everybody has this opportunity for their dream to come true.’

After joining the club Ighalo made 19 appearances in the second half of the 2019-20 season, scoring five goals.

This season he has struggled for game-time, having played just one minute since September.

This late appearance came against Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford when he was sent on in injury time.

Ighalo will hope to get a final showing in United colours before his loan deal expires at the end of January. 

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