ODION Ighalo has been offered a new bumper contract worth £400,000 a week by his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in a bid to get him to return at the end of his six month loan period with England’s Manchester United.
Ighalo, 30, is currently on loan to Manchester United for a six month period when the Chinese league is on a break but his scintillating form has led to suggestions that this may be extended at the end of the season. Ole Gunner Soklksjaer, the Manchester United manager is said to be impressed with the striker’s form and is now planning to sign him on a permanent deal at the end of the season.
In a bid to get Ighalo to return to China, Shanghai Shenhua have offered him the new £400,000 a week-before-tax offer deal that will make him Africa’s top earner. Ighalo’s current contract expires in December 2022 and Shanghai want to keep him until December 2024.
During Ighalo’s first breakout season in the Premier League with Watford in 2016, he was in a similar position where he was tempted with a lucrative offer by another Chinese club, Hebei China Fortune. Although Ighalo turned down the offer then, he admitted that he had sleepless nights as he weighed the pros and cons of the massive deal.
Ighalo said: “I was very close. They made a £10m bid and were offering me over £200,000 a week; a four-year contract and I couldn’t sleep for three days.
“That kind of money is not easy to turn down. Some teammates in the dressing room were saying, you can’t miss this chance but I don’t jump into decisions like that.
“I knew God would direct me. When I said I don’t want to go, they offered me more money, almost £300,000 a week. I told them it’s not about the money.”