Ighalo took pay cut to switch to United

The Citizen (KZN) - - Phakaaathi -

Lon­don – Life­long Manch­ester United fan Odion Ighalo (right) said he had no hes­i­ta­tion in tak­ing a pay cut to com­plete his dream dead­line-day switch to Old Traf­ford, en­dur­ing a sleep­less night as the deal was ham­mered out.

United were al­ready short in at­tack fol­low­ing the sum­mer de­par­tures of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku and a back in­jury sus­tained by Mar­cus Rash­ford, mak­ing a re­in­force­ment dur­ing the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow of cru­cial im­por­tance to the Old Traf­ford club.

United man­ager Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer looked at a va­ri­ety of op­tions and even­tu­ally com­pleted a late loan deal for ex-Wat­ford striker Ighalo, who has joined un­til the end of the sea­son from Shang­hai Shen­hua.

“I’m very happy,” the Nige­ria for­ward told United’s web­site. “First, I want say thank God for mak­ing this hap­pen and it’s just like a dream come true for me.

“Peo­ple that know me, even back in Nige­ria, and even when I was play­ing at Wat­ford, my team­mates knew that I loved Man United, I sup­port them. When I played against Man U, that emo­tion is there, be­cause it is my dream.

“It is a nice re­al­ity, so I’m very happy and I’m look­ing for­ward to start.”

Ighalo, 30, fol­lowed Sporting Lis­bon mid­fielder Bruno Fer­nan­des into Old Traf­ford, with the for­ward call­ing his last-minute move “very dra­matic”, hav­ing been in­formed by his agent the day be­fore of United’s in­ter­est.

“From 11:00pm there was pa­per­work, ne­go­ti­at­ing and all that, for the loan deal and all that, so we are talk­ing and other teams are call­ing them, want­ing me,” he said.

“But I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here.

“He said ‘you’re go­ing to get a pay cut to go to United’. I said I don’t care. Make this deal hap­pen. I want to go to United. I don’t care how much is the pay cut, I know that, make it hap­pen.”

Ighalo, who will be the first Nige­rian to play for Manch­ester United, said there had been huge ex­cite­ment among his fam­ily and friends.

“It was crazy be­cause, all over the news, was about my United deal,” he said. – AFP

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