Odion Ighalo 'attracting interest from Qatari and Saudi Arabian sides'

Odion Ighalo ‘attracting interest from Qatari and Saudi Arabian sides as two Premier League clubs also make tentative enquiries’ for Manchester United loanee ahead of Old Trafford deal expiring later this month

  • Odion Ighalo has played just one top-flight game for Man United this season 
  • His initial four-month loan from Shanghai Shenhua was extended in June
  • But now he looks set to return to China following Edinson Cavani’s arrival 

Clubs from Qatar and Saudi Arabia are interested in signing Manchester United forward Odion Ighalo, according to reports.

The 31-year-old has made just one Premier League appearance this season after seeing his initial four-month loan deal at Old Trafford from Shanghai Shenhua extended in June.

The Chinese Super League side expect the former Nigeria international to return to the club once his deal at United expires on January 31, and Sky Sports claim while he is not against seeing out the rest of his deal there, he would be happy to listen to other offers.

Qatari and Saudi Arabian clubs are interested in signing Man United forward Odion Ighalo

Ighalo’s initial deal was extended in June after impressing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The report adds that as well as interest from the Middle East, two unnamed Premier League sides have also cautiously approached his representatives over a move.

Ighalo –  who has scored five goals in 20 appearances since arriving at United to play under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Deadline Day in January last year – has seen his opportunities limited following the arrival of Edinson Cavani.

The former Watford striker has made just four appearances across all competitions in 2020/21, including the final minute of United’s home defeat by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last month.

His only two starts have come in the League Cup in the third and fourth round victories against Luton and Brighton, and it is in the Carabao Cup that the club are next in action when they take on Manchester City in the semi-finals.

The forward has hardly played this season, but two top-flight clubs are also interested

And while his time at Old Trafford may be petering out on a whim but speaking last week, he revealed the measures he took to help push through his dream move a year ago.

‘My agent told me he wants to see if I can go on loan to the UK, Manchester United were looking for a short loan, they were looking for a striker as Marcus Rashford was injured and he asked ‘what do you think about that?’,’ he told the official Manchester United podcast.

‘I said ‘what club did you just mention?’ and he said ‘Manchester United’. Since that day he mentioned this name I did not sleep. He said I wasn’t the only option as they have four or five other options.

‘But every night I pray and say to God ‘don’t allow them to take any of the other strikers they’re gonna take me’.

The former Nigeria international has seen game time limited following Edinson Cavani’s arrival

‘It was like 11pm in Shanghai and my agent called me saying ‘Manchester United want to do this deal and we need to talk to them’. I remember I was naked in bed trying to sleep when I got the call and he told me to get up and get changed.

‘I ran out of my room and knocked on my director’s door, he couldn’t speak English, so I went to the translator and he said ‘what’s going on?’ This is 11pm at night the night’ and I said ‘where is the director my agent wants to speak to him as Manchester United are interested.

‘My agent told me I would get a pay cut and I said ‘I don’t care if I get a pay cut just make the deal happen. I wanna go’.

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