Odion Ighalo says he turned down offers from Tottenham Hotspur and other clubs to join Manchester United last year.
Ighalo, 31, joined the Red Devils on loan from Chinese Premier League outfit Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020.
The deal was later extended until 2021 with the forward scoring five goals in 23 appearances for United across all competitions.
Having left English football in 2017 following a three-year spell at Watford where he had helped the club to Premier League promotion, Ighalo would not have been a name many would have considered at the time to solve United’s striker shortage.
The former Nigeria international however revealed that turned down suitors to link up with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
‘That was close – my agent called me and told me they (Tottenham) had offered to match whatever I was earning but once I heard Manchester United were interested, there was no turning back,” Ighalo told Sky Sports.
“I couldn’t think about anything else other than making the Manchester United deal work. I was going to have to take a pay cut but I didn’t care, I just wanted the deal to happen.
“I just wanted to play for Manchester United. It’s my dream club and it was always going to be a privilege for me to play at Old Trafford.
“I’m just so grateful to God that it happened. Every day I wake up and I know that I am an ex-Manchester United player. It is something that I will never take for granted.”
Ighalo moved to Saudi Arabia Professional League club Al Shabab in February following the expiration of his contract at Old Trafford.
The striker disclosed he had offers to stay in the Premier League, but decided to play elsewhere.
“Yeah, there was the possibility of West Ham and West Brom to stay in the Premier League, which I thought about,”he added.
“But after being at Manchester United, the biggest club in England if not the world, what else could I possibly do in the Premier League?
“I had good offers to stay in England, but I just didn’t think I could stay after achieving my dream of playing for the club I had supported since I was young.
“I came all the way from China because it was Manchester United when I had already rejected other offers because United has always been my dream.”