Odion Ighalo told ESPN he would like to stay with Manchester United beyond the end of the month and announced that he would also be interested in moving to Major League Soccer.
Ighalos loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua ends on January 31 after one year in Old Trafford. Nigerian waits before making a decision about his next move but has said he “love” the opportunity to play in the US
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“I’m in Manchester today but at the end of the month I don’t know where I’ll be,” Ighalo told ESPN. “If it is possible I would like to stay here, but if not I have to go.
“I have options. I am waiting for my agent. He does his job and I do mine. At the end of the month we have to decide what is best and we will take it. If possible, I would like to play in MLS, but I’ll have to wait and see if it’s possible.
“The league is fine and if the opportunity presents itself I would take it with two hands.”
With Edinson Cavani arriving this summer, United Ighalos is unlikely to extend their stay. If he leaves at the end of the month, however, the 31-year-old said he will do so after fulfilling his dream of playing for the team he supported as a boy in Lagos.
“I never thought I’d play for United,” he said. “Where I’m from we’re fighting for United games.
“We fight. We fight. When my team didn’t do well, I cried. I’ve grown in love with United since I was young and I’m the happiest man on earth to make my dream come true. Me fulfilled my dream of playing for Man United. “
It was a surprise when United reached out to Ighalo to fill in the void left by injured Marcus Rashford in January 2020. And last but not least, Ighalo himself.
“When the conversation started, I didn’t believe it,” he said. “I didn’t believe my agent.
“But I got a call from my agent that Man United was going to do the deal around 10pm or 11pm, Shanghai time, and I didn’t sleep until the day break.
“They said I had to take a cut, but I said I don’t care whatever the cut, just do this deal. This is my dream. I was on my bed and praying. I didn’t. ” I didn’t believe it until I landed at Manchester Airport. “
Odion Ighalo scored in the FA Cup quarter-finals against Norwich last season. Getty Images
Ighalo made an important contribution to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team at the end of last season. He scored five goals in 19 games as United reached the FA Cup and Europa League semi-finals, and finished third in the Premier League to ensure a return to the Champions League.
He’s found it more difficult to get opportunities through this term, but it didn’t affect his appreciation for the chance to achieve his dream.
“I’m a professional, I don’t cause problems and I don’t complain,” he said. “I just go to training and do my best.
“I haven’t played a lot lately, but it’s the coach’s decision. When I’m not on the team and I support them 100%. The team is going well and that’s the most important thing.”