Odion Ighalo has erased any doubts about where he would be playing his club football next season by rejecting a massive £10 million (N3 billion) offered for his services by Chinese club Hebei China Fortune. The striker, according to his agent Ladi Salami, had always nursed the ambition of playing in the English Premier League and would be staying put with Watford, which he helped to gain promotion from the Championship to the elite League last season.
Reportedly, Watford had last week received a £10 million offer from Hebei for the Nigeria international, with the Chinese first division club – managed by former Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona head coach Raddy Antic – eager to make a marquee signing to boost their profile.
However, after holding talks with Watford, Ighalo decided to turn the offer as he wants to play in the Premier League with Watford. Ighalo, who scored his first senior team goal for Nigeria in the June 13 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad, was instrumental in helping Watford win promotion last season with 20 goals in 38 games, including a memorable four-goal haul in a 7-2 win over Blackpool His agent, Salami, has admitted the former Udinese forward is pleased by the interest from China, but said that the forward plans to stay in England and that two other Premier League clubs are chasing him this summer.
“Odion is flattered by the offer from China, but he wants to stay in England and play in the Premier League,” he said. “The offer was very lucrative, but it is not all about money and Odion has always wanted to play in the Premier League. “I have also received interest from two other Premier League clubs, but Watford will decide Odion’s future and right now he is just focused on getting ready for the new season.”