Odion Ighalo took pay cut for loan move to Man United
Nigerian striker and boyhood Manchester United fan Odion Ighalo has said he agreed to take a pay cut to ensure his move to the English Premier League club went through on transfer deadline day.
United made a surprise swoop for Ighalo before the window shut on Jan 31, signing the 30-year-old on loan until the end of the season from Shanghai Shenhua, after failing to land their prime January target, Erling Haaland.
Ighalo scored 16 goals in 35 games for Nigeria before retiring from international football after winning the Golden Boot at last year's African Nations Cup.
He played for Watford before moving to China, and said joining United was a dream come true.
He told United's website: "It was very dramatic. My agent called me the day before and said Man United... (and) 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... I didn't sleep throughout that night.
"There was paperwork, negotiating 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... make it happen."
Ighalo added that he had supported United since his youth and that his mother burst into tears when she heard the news.
He said: "I called my mum and she was happy, crying. 'This is your dream and I'm happy for you,' she said.
"It was dramatic. I was very happy that finally we got the deal done."- REUTERS