Odion Ighalo has confirmed what was widely speculated following his loan move to Manchester United: that he took a considerable pay-cut upon leaving Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, and he was quite happy to do so.
To hear Ighalo tell the story, it was a frantic right hours from the moment Man United reached out to his agent until the deal was completed and announced just before the transfer deadline. The 30-year-old Nigerian international revealed that he instructed his agent to get the deal done, at whatever cost — quotes from the Guardian:
“At 11 p.m. in Shanghai, my agent called me [to say] that United want to do the deal, so I woke up that night and started looking for a translator to go to the directors’ room and hit his door and all that. ‘My agent wants to speak to you, United are coming for me, you have to make this happen’ and all that.
“So, they started talking and discussing. I didn’t sleep throughout that night, because it was going to end at 7 a.m., Shanghai time, and the transfer [window] is going to close there.
“From 11 p.m. there was paperwork, negotiating and all that, for the loan deal, so we are talking and other teams are calling them, wanting me. 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.'”
He’s hardly the only one who’s thrilled by moving to a club the size and scope of United.
“When we were young back in Nigeria, we used to watch the Premier League on TV a lot, when the likes of Andy Cole used to play. People support Man United a lot back there in Nigeria, so I developed that love, because all of my siblings, they are Man United fans. I never thought this was going to happen.”