Key shortfall led to Inter losing out to Man Utd with Ighalo swoop

Date published: Thursday 6th February 2020 12:55

Inter Milan were unwilling to go through with a late swoop for now-Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo due to his salary demands, according to a report.

United found a temporary stop-gap to their crisis up front by adding Shanghai Greenland Shenhua hitman Ighalo to the ranks on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The deal was announced hours after the transfer window closed last Friday, with United frantically trying to get the deal over the line to avoid being without cover for Marcus Rashford.

Indeed, Ighalo himself has revealed how negotiations leading to the move were “very dramatic”, while confirming that a few other clubs were interested in his signature.

According to Calciomercato, one such club was Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan.

Inter added the likes of Christian Eriksen, Victor Moses and Ashley Young to their squad last month but the Italian source claims that Conte was also keen on Ighalo.

It is said that Conte “probed” the possibility of bringing the Nigerian to San Siro, using his solid relations with the player’s agent as a starting point.

However, Ighalo’s high salary expectations meant Inter pulled out of the deal, allowing United to swoop in and seal the signing.

Ighalo was announced just after midnight last Saturday and was therefore absent for United’s 0-0 Premier League draw with Wolves.

 

However, the striker is expected to be involved after the mid-season break when the Red Devils face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Fellow January arrival Bruno Fernandes will also feature, having made his debut against Wolves.

In other news, United reportedly had Russian striker Fedor Smolov on their radar before signing Ighalo.

Smolov, who has scored 14 goals in 39 appearances for his country, eventually moved from Lokomotiv Moscow to Celta Vigo on loan until the end of the season.

Smolov has now spoken out about the decision to move to La Liga instead of the Premier League.

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