IGHALO TRANSFER: Ex-Manchester United ace Mark Hughes 'surprised' by deal

IGHALO TRANSFER: Ex-Manchester United ace Mark Hughes 'surprised' by deal

The former Watford forward landed at Manchester airport on Sunday morning and said he is enjoying the opportunity to prove himself in Old Trafford.

"There has been speculation from Spain and Italy but I've played there and now want to play in England", Ighalo said.

In a separate interview with Sky Sports, Ole added: "The club has always been very good and, in Odion, we get a proper man, a great lad and a good goalscorer".

But according to reports from the Independent, United looked at several alternatives before eventually settling for a short-term deal for Ighalo. When he went to China, he didn't expect to be brought to United when he was 30.

Napoli's Dries Mertens was another option, with Chelsea having had a bid rejected for the Belgium global.

Ighalo, 30, joins on loan for the rest of the season from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua. He netted 39 goals in 99 appearances for the Hornets, with two of the 39 goals coming against Liverpool on December 20, 2015, during Watford's 3-0 victory over Jurgen Klopp's side.

United, who let Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leave last summer, have been linked with a host of strikers including Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, Hertha Berlin's Krzysztof Piatek, Bournemouth's Joshua King, Atletico Madrid's Nikola Kalinic, Norwich's Teemu Pukki and Ings.

He has spent his last five years with the Cherries but saw a deadline day switch blocked.

"We had Patrice Evra who was one of the best left backs in the world, Rio Ferdinand one of the best central defenders in the world".

The former United States worldwide once patrolled the left side of the defence at United as Shaw and Williams do now, and he thinks the former will play a key role in his team-mate's development before being replaced by the younger man.

While both Chelsea and Tottenham couldn't find a suitable forward to bolster the squad, West Ham signed Jarrod Bowen from second-tier club Hull as the east London club scraps for Premier League survival as the clock ticked down the 2300 GMT transfer cutoff.

The latter can not play against Wolves at Old Trafford this evening (5.30pm), though Fernandes may be involved.

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