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Odion Ighalo: Manchester United sign Nigeria striker on loan until end of season


Odion Ighalo left Watford for a move to China in 2017

Manchester United have signed former Watford striker Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season.

The deal to bring the 30-year-old Nigeria international to Old Trafford contains no option to buy.

Ighalo, who is still in China but is expected to fly to the UK in the next few days, scored 39 goals in 99 matches for Watford between 2014 and 2017.

He then moved to the Chinese Super League, first with Changchun Yatai.

After two seasons he moved to Shanghai Shenhua and has scored 10 times in 19 games.

His form for his country has been eye-catching, finishing as top scorer in African Cup of Nations qualifying with seven goals, before scoring five at the tournament during the summer.

It is understood there was interest from other Premier League clubs but Ighalo wanted to play for United.

Ighalo (left) was pictured wearing a Manchester United shirt during his childhood

Earlier on Friday, United ended interest in Bournemouth’s Josh King but did sign Southend United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop for an undisclosed fee.

United accept Ighalo does not fit the club’s policy of trying to sign long-term targets, such as Bruno Fernandes, who moved to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.

However, this move has been done to cover the short-term injury to Marcus Rashford.

England international Rashford, 22, is out with a stress fracture in his back sustained after coming on as a substitute during the FA Cup third-round replay win against Wolves on 15 January.



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