In an interview with Sky Sports, Ighalo tells us all about his childhood as a Manchester United fan, and reveals that he was in bed wearing nothing but a towel when the call from United came through.
I was in my hotel room in Shanghai where we were doing pressers and training. Two days before that, I heard some news about Man United and [my agent] called me about it, but I was thinking ‘Man United? I’m in China’ and with the coronavirus and everything, how is it even possible with two days until the end of the transfer window.
I was praying about it but didn’t want to show my emotions and just kept calm. Every time I would text my agent ‘have you heard from them?’ and there was nothing. On the last day of the transfer window, I called my agent and he said he hadn’t heard anything.
Then in the evening, I texted him and he said Man United were looking at other strikers, your name is still among them but they have not given me anything concrete and I lost hope. I said ‘this isn’t going to happen’ because the last text I had from my agent was 8pm or 9pm in the evening Shanghai time so I went to sleep.
Now this is the part that really gets us laughing, Ighalo goes on to say;
Then my phone rang and my agent said ‘it looks like Man United are coming for you, where are you now?’ and I said ‘I’m in my bed, I’m sleeping’ because this is about 11pm there. He said ‘where is the director [of Shanghai Shenhua]?’ and he was in his room.
I was already in bed so I got up, tied my towel around my waist and firstly, I went to the translator’s room because the director doesn’t speak English. I said ‘Man United want to speak to [the director], we have to go’. We banged on his door and we started calling him, I think his phone was busy and I was going mad.
I was telling my agent I was going to say yes, say that we want to discuss with [United] and the director what is going on. Then [the director] picked up his phone and we connected them with my agent, who was talking with Man United and the people in Shanghai.
I didn’t sleep until 6am in the morning because of everything, from paperwork to trying to exchange that to trying to agree the fee. Even my agent was shaking because this is very big for Man United, with all that is going on, they have the trust to bring you in. I said ‘now you have to make this happen, I don’t care what it has to take, just make it happen, I want to sign’.
Ighalo is dedicated to doing well at Manchester United and he says that even though he has achieved his big dream of playing for Manchester United and even scoring, he still has a lot of work to do, and he wants to push the team to where it needs to be.
We’re excited to see how it all works out for the striker.