Odion Ighalo’s agent has explained how a move to Manchester United materialised before the January transfer deadline on Friday night.
Ighalo, who plays for Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League, has agreed a move to Old Trafford until the end of the season.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made no secret of his desire to bring in an attacker this month, especially after Marcus Rashford’s back injury compounded the summer departures of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.
Man Utd had expressed an interest in Bournemouth’s Josh King but preferred a loan deal and were unable to reach an agreement on a permanent transfer, meaning attention turned to Ighalo, who followed big-money signing Bruno Fernandes into the club.
And the Nigerian’s agent Atta Aneke has explained how the move came about after doubting it would happen.
“It’s been hectic,” Aneke told Aftenposten.”I talked to Manchester United’s top boss (Ed Woodward) for a few days in advance. It was quiet on Thursday, and then I got the impression that nothing would happen.
“Suddenly, in the middle of the day on Friday, things started to move. It was then at 11 o’clock in the evening in Shanghai. It was hectic phone business. Everyone had to stay awake until five or six in the morning in Shanghai.
“He has been a United supporter since childhood. It’s incredibly big. When he left for China, he did not expect to be brought to United as a 30-year-old. He’s an amazing person.
“If you see what he’s doing off the field… He has opened an orphanage with 20-30 kids who are now also allowed to go to school. Every month he sends money to widows from the area he is from in Nigeria. He is a person who is successful. He is not one of those who thinks of himself.”