Despite getting a pay cut, former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, will earn about N1.4 billion in six months playing for English Premiership club, Manchester United.
Ighalo was a deadline day signing for the Old Trafford club after Coronavirus forced the Chinese government to suspend the Chinese Football League.
Ighalo, who is expected to pick up Jersey no. 25, (formerly worn by Valencia) will be paid N60 million (£130,000) per week, pending his loan period at United. This means, in a month, Ighalo will earn N244 million (£520,000) and in six months, the 30-year-old striker will receive N1.4 billion (£2.98m) as salary.
Ighalo was previously plying his trade at Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua but now, he is expected to play for Manchester United, which has been without a point-man since Marcus Rashford sustained an injury, till the end of the season.
What does this mean? While the N1.4 billion seems much, it’s nothing compared to what he was receiving while playing for Shanghai Shenhua. The new wage is actually a pay cut when compared to the £300,000 he was earning per week at the Chinese club.
The Chinese Football League is mostly known as a retirement plan for players, who have played around Europe. And one of the most alluring facts about the league is its transfer fee for players willing to play in the Asian country.
The clubs in the Chinese league pay outrageous amounts to lure players with European experience in order to bring exposure to their league and accelerate acceptance of the Chinese league among its citizens where foreign clubs enjoy more followings.
But now, the league has been suspended following the outbreak of Coronavirus in China, which has since spread to other parts of the world like Europe and America.
Man United worth pay cut: For Ighalo, the move to Manchester United is a dream come true regardless of the pay cut.
He told Manchester United website that, “Yeah, it was very dramatic. My agent called me the day before and said Man United. I would love to go. A few other clubs had shown interest, I said please, just pick United, if it’s going to be possible.”
He added that, “I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here. He said you’re going to get a pay-cut to go to United. I said I don’t care. Make this deal happen. I want to go to United. I don’t care how much is the pay-cut, I know that, make it happen.”
Is Ighalo worth the fee? Ighalo had previously played for Watford, recording 55 Premier League appearances from August 2015 to January 2017, scoring 16 goals and adding four assists. He has scored 131 goals in 322 club appearances and recorded 16 goals for Nigeria in 35 appearances. Ighalo retired after emerging the highest goal scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
He will make his Premier League debut for Manchester United against Chelsea on February 17, 2020.