United bolster striker options with Ighalo loan deal

Manchester United
Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo has claimed he turned down a move to Barcelona in January as he didn't want to play a bit-part role.

Manchester United beat the deadline to bolster their attacking options with a loan move for Odion Ighalo until the end of the season.

United’s need for a genuine frontman was made all the more pressing in the wake of Marcus Rashford’s injury, and they had been linked with a deadline-day move for former player Josh King.

Following reports that they had a £20million bid for the Norway international turned down by Bournemouth, they turned their attentions elsewhere and targeted former Watford striker Ighalo.


The lifelong United fan has previous experience of the Premier League having scored 39 goals in 99 appearances for Watford from 2014-17, before moving to China.

The 30-year-old has scored 46 times in 70 games for Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League and will be hoping to hit the ground running on his return to England.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears delighted to have reinforced his attacking options until the end of the season, with no option to buy him in the summer in the deal.

“Odion is an experienced player,” said Solskjaer.

“He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us.

“A great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here.”

Ighalo, who is United’s first loan signing since bringing in Radamel Falcao from Monaco in 2014, finished as top scorer in both qualifying for the African Cup of Nations and the tournament itself with seven and five goals respectively.

United reportedly beat off interest from both Tottenham and Inter Milan to land their man, with Spurs hoping to find cover for the injured Harry Kane while the Nerazzurri were looking at other options having failed to lure Olivier Giroud from Chelsea.