United's striker search had led them to talks with Bournemouth over Josh King, but a disagreement about the fee made that look increasingly unlikely as the transfer window's deadline day developed. And instead their focus switched to the Nigerian international.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club's official website: "Odion is an experienced player. He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us.
A great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here.
Igahlo left Watford in 2017 to join Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League, and in 2019 he made a move to Shanghai Shenhua in the same division. And with a matter of hours remaining in the transfer window, United agreed terms to bring Ighalo to the club.
He becomes the first Nigerian to play for the Premier League giants.
Reports suggest the striker will not undergo a medical, but that he is fit and ready to play.
Watford's Odion Ighalo celebrates scoring their first goal with Troy Deeney
Image credit: Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur were also reportedly interested in Ighalo, who has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League, while Sky Sports have also speculated that the possibility of a move to Bournemouth for Ighalo could be used to force through the King transfer.
The addition of a striker caps off a transfer window that saw United also bring in Bruno Fernandes as a headline addition.
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Re-live all of the drama of deadline day as it unfolded on our live blog:
Peter Sharland writes:
It didn't matter if it was King or Ighalo, United are a rudderless ship and their attempts to paper over the cracks in the hull are pathetic at best.
"And if you have a target in mind to really right the ship, such as say Erling Braut Haaland, and you can get him at an outrageous price then do everything in your power to close that deal.
"He is the spectre that looms large over this whole sorry affair. Because now the worry for United will be that sensible young stars like Haaland will look at clubs like Borussia Dortmund as the perfect stepping stone until they go to the biggest clubs in the world like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus or… Liverpool.
"It’s a tough reality for a lot of fans but it’s the one they find themselves in, another window has gone by and yet again United have failed to make the signing they need more than anything.
An experienced and respected Director of Football is needed to take the power away from Woodward and focus on properly rebuilding the club.
"Until that appointment is made United will continue to stumble along, sometimes getting a good deal, more often than not getting taking for a ride while the rest of the world laughs."