Odion Ighalo finds new club following Manchester United departure

Odion Ighalo has joined Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab following the end of his Manchester United loan spell.

The forward spent a year on loan at United from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, extending his stay at Old Trafford after proving a useful back-up striker last season.

Yet his football was limited in the current campaign after the arrival of Edinson Cavani and he returned to China last month following the end of his loan.

Shenhua granted permission to Al Shabab to speak to Ighalo and he has now signed a two-and-a-half-year deal after passing a medical, with one of his representatives confirming the 31-year-old had turned down interest from elsewhere.

They told BBC Sport Africa: “Despite interest from other clubs, this is a good move for the player because Al Shabab showed ambition and commitment in their efforts to sign him.”

The forward links up with the likes of former Valencia and Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and ex-Wolves defender Alfred N’Diaye at Al Shabab.

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Ighalo had previously confirmed he would be leaving Shenhua, posting ‘Thank you’ in Chinese on social media accompanied by pictures of his time in China.

The former Watford striker was a little more effusive when bidding goodbye to United last month, revealing he will always cherish his 12 months at Old Trafford.

He wrote on Instagram: “It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end.

“But I give God the glory for helping me fulfil this lifelong dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honour I will forever cherish and be grateful for.

To the manager I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many did not, to my amazing teammates I will miss you guys, it was always fun and a time I look forward to training and spending time with all of you. And I pray we win the league and FA Cup this year.

“To the best fans in the world we have missed you, but we hear your voices cheering us on from afar, we can’t wait to have you all back on the stands.

“I’m still and would remain a MANCHESTER UNITED FAN forever. Once a Red, always a Red. Thank you Manchester United and God bless.”