Odion Ighalo has opened up on his move to Manchester United and says he was desperate to ‘make it happen’ following a ‘dramatic’ deadline day switch to Old Trafford.
The Nigerian international completed a shock move to Manchester United on the final day of the January transfer window, arriving on a loan deal from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua to bolster the club’s attacking options over the remainder of the campaign.
Former Watford star Ighalo admits he can not wait to get started for his new side after returning to the Premier League, and says he did all he could to force through the late move, including taking a pay-cut to link up with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Speaking on a frantic final few hours of the transfer window, Ighalo told MUTV: “Yeah, it was very dramatic.
“My agent called me the day before and said Man United. I would love to go. A few other clubs had shown interest, I said please, just pick United, if it’s going to be possible.
“At 11pm 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 you know. So they started talking and discussing. I didn’t sleep throughout that night, because it was going to end at 7am, Shanghai time, and the transfer [window] is going to close there.
”So, from 11pm, 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, 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.
“So the director and everybody didn’t know what to say anymore, because I had already made up my mind, so my agent started putting it in order, and, at 5am, we finished. My agent said he’d forwarded all the papers to United, they will confirm for me if everything is okay. I think, around 5am-6am, he said everything is okay, it’s done. I was excited.
“I called my mum and she was happy, crying and all that. This is your dream and all that and I’m happy for you. It was dramatic, I didn’t sleep through, I was very happy that finally we got the deal done.”
Ighalo could make his Manchester United debut when they take on Chelsea on February 17th.