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Man United sign former Watford striker Ighalo on loan from Chinese Super League club

The Red Devils are bringing in the 30-year-old on loan from Shanghai Shenhua as cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.

Odion Ighalo has signed for Man United on loan.
Odion Ighalo has signed for Man United on loan.

MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE clinched a surprise move for former Watford striker Odion Ighalo, who will move to Old Trafford on loan until the end of the season.

United, who finally signed Bruno Fernandes for a fee of £46.5million (€55m) and a potential further £21.1m (€25m) in add-ons on Thursday, were eager to bring in a striker prior to the end of the transfer window.

With Marcus Rashford out injured, United were said to have had an approach for Josh King rebuffed by Bournemouth before turning their attention to Ighalo.

The Nigeria forward has spent the past three seasons in the Chinese Super League, scoring 10 league goals for Shanghai Shenhua last term after two prolific campaigns with Changchun Yatai.

But the 30-year-old will now bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack, with United just managing to get a short-term loan deal completed before Friday’s deadline.

An official announcement from United will come later, but it is understood the deal has been agreed and Ighalo will fly into Manchester from China in the coming days.

The African golden boot winner has Premier League experience, having scored 16 goals for Watford in 55 top-flight appearances between 2015 and 2017.

He is a boyhood Manchester United fan, and in a 2016 interview revealed his football heroes were Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.

However, the dash to provide Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with another forward with seconds to spare before the deadline has provided more ammunition for fans critical of the club’s recruitment policy.

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s home was targeted by disgruntled supporters with flares and graffiti earlier this week.

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An attempt to bring Bournemouth forward Josh King back to Old Trafford, where he started his career, was rejected earlier on Friday.

Ighalo has scored 16 goals in 34 international appearances for Nigeria, including five as top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Additional reporting by AFP

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