AFCON Leading Scorer Explains Why He Turned Down Move To Barcelona
Published: July 19, 2019
AFCON Leading Scorer Explains Why He Turned Down Move To Barcelona
Odion Ighalo has explained why he passed up the opportunity to join Spanish champions Barcelona and teams in the Premier League in the January transfer window.

The prolific Super Eagles striker has confessed that the decision not to join Barcelona was a financial factor and not for sporting reasons, stressing that his future is now guaranteed after moving to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.

At that time, manager Ernesto Valverde was in the market for a striker to provide cover for Luis Suarez and Ighalo was one of the players being considered.

''I was holidaying in Nigeria when my agent called me and told me about it, looking at the bright side of it I scored 21 goals in the Chinese Super League and 4 or 5 teams wanted me even though my team got relegated, two or three teams in England wanted me,'' Ighalo told Soccer Laduma.

''Going to Barcelona, I knew I wasn't going to play because they were looking for a backup striker for Luis Suarez, there is no need for me going there to sit down on the bench for six months then six months finish what is the next step for me.

''If I don't play no team is going to buy you, give you the kind of money you want. Then I got an offer from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua for a three-year contract.''

Prior to Ighalo's move to China in January 2017, he spent ten years in Europe playing for Lyn Oslo, Udinese, Granada and Watford.

''I am 30 years old now, I have to think about my future and the future of my family. It's better for me to sign a three-year contract than a six-month contract, I went for that.

''People may say you are crazy, I played in Europe for ten years, I'm not in that top, top but I am satisfied for what I've done, for what I've achieved. I don't carer what's the name of the club, I think about what's good for me and my family,'' he concluded.

Having scored five goals for the Super Eagles, Ighalo is the leading scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations ahead of today's final match between Algeria and Senegal.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel
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