The former Watford forward could have easily become the highest-earning African footballer on the planet, but he is chasing a childhood dream instead
Odion Ighalo has revealed that he decided to snub Shanghai Shenhua’s new multi-billion naira deal to stay at Old Trafford because ‘money is not everything’ in life.
Instead, the on-loan Manchester United forward decided to extend his temporary spell at one of England’s biggest clubs, pursuing a dream he held since he was a kid.
Ighalo joined the Red Devils on January transfer deadline day in a surprise move that had many questioning his quality and ability.
But four goals – including a stunning strike against Austrian club LASK in the Europa League that scooped United’s Goal of the Month award for March – in just three starts has quickly turned Ighalo into a fans’ favourite.
Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus struck and halted the 30-year-old’s impressive goal-scoring streak.
It appeared Ighalo may never feature for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men again with his loan deal expiring on May 31st and Shenhua dangling a big-money deal before him.
In response, United offered the Nigerian striker a deal significantly less than what Shenhua had on the table, and Ighalo duly accepted it, preferring a stay at his dream club to loads of cash in his account.
“Sometimes money is not everything in life, playing at Man Utd has been my childhood dream, and it is not a decision I made just for no,” Ighalo told Brila FM.
“I chose Man Utd over a return to Shanghai for the future, and people will realise that I made the right decision when the time is right.
“Money is good, Money is very, very good, but Man United is my dream, I cannot jeopardise that dream because of money.
“Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say Money is not good, but I didn’t just make the decision, I prayed about it, and I believe something good can even come from the one year I will be spending in Manchester United.”
Ighalo’s current deal at Shenhua runs out in December 2022, but he will be staying at United until January 2021.