Aston Villa turned down the chance to sign Odion Ighalo on Thursday night – 24 hours before he made a surprise switch to Manchester United.
The Nigerian was a mover on deadline day as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned to the former Watford man to solve his striker crisis.
Ighalo will move from Shanghai Shenhua on a six-month loan deal, but Villa could’ve been his next destination had they not turned their noses up at the 30-year-old, reports Sky Sports.
The Midlands club were in the market for a striker this month having lost first choice centre forward Wesley to injury for the rest of the season.
Mbwana Samatta signed from Genk for £10.2m while Borja Baston was a deadline day arrival from Swansea on a free transfer.
Ighalo was therefore not required with his return to England’s top flight coming as a major shock, although former Red Devil Jaap Stam believes he has “nothing to lose”.
He said: “It’s a surprising signing…he’s got nothing to lose. No-one was expecting this.
“He can just go in there and do his thing. Hopefully he’ll do well as we all want to see Manchester United back up there.”
Ighalo won’t be involved in their clash with Wolves on Saturday but will feature soon after.
“Manchester United play Wolves tomorrow,” said James Cooper. “Ighalo won’t be involved in that game. He won’t even be in Manchester. But then Manchester United have a two-week break before their next game.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he wanted a striker, he said he wanted a goalscoring option. Manchester United have backed him. They have done the talking with a very late smash-and-great raid.”