Nigerian forward Ighalo attracts interest from English Premier League sides

Published on: 18 January 2021

Odion Ighalo’s representative has revealed a number of clubs in the Premier League, Europe, and Middle East have shown their interest in signing the Manchester United forward.

Ighalo teamed up with the Red Devils on transfer Deadline Day in January 2020 on an initial six-month loan deal from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

The former Super Eagles attacker hit the ground running on his arrival, scoring five goals during his first spell with the side to earn an extension at United.

The forward has, however, struggled for game time this season, having only featured in four games across all competitions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

The 31-year-old will come to the end of his stay at the Old Trafford this month following the expiration of his loan deal with the club.

Ighalo recently explained he is open to moving to Major League Soccer in the United States and his representative has now revealed the forward is also being courted outside the US.

"I can confirm that some Premier League clubs, two teams outside of England and some clubs in the Middle East have made formal enquiries," one of his representatives told BBC Sport Africa.

"Of course, he said [in an interview] that the MLS could be interesting, but that is just an option outside of the strong interest received so far.

"For now he's still a Man United player on loan from China where he still has a contract. He could stay in England where his family is based or try something new because he has many options to mull over.

"Any potential move after Manchester United definitely involves Shanghai Shenhua. There's a slight sense of disappointment about the current season, but Ighalo remains grateful for the opportunity to have played for one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"He wanted to end his time at United on a high by playing more for his boyhood club but he is grateful to the manager and proud of himself."

Ighalo started his European career with Lyn and also played for Udinese before moving to the Premier League to join Watford, where he enjoyed great success before he left for China.

The forward made 35 appearances for the Nigeria national team, scoring 16 goals before he ended his international career in 2019 after helping the Super Eagles to finish third at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The centre-forward will hope to sort out his career before the end of the January transfer window.