‘I deserve better’: Ex-Watford striker Odion Ighalo reveals why he turned down move to BARCELONA in January
- Odion Ighalo has revealed that he rejected interest from Barcelona in January
- Barcelona were said to want the former Watford striker on a six-month loan deal
- But Ighalo had no intention of being a back-up striker, even for the La Liga giants
Former Watford striker Odion Ighalo has revealed that he snubbed interest from La Liga champions Barcelona earlier this year.
Ighalo finished the 2018 season as the CSL’s second-top scorer with 21 goals and Barcelona were said to be keen to considering a loan move for him during the January transfer window.
Former Watford striker Odion Ighalo (centre) poses at a Shanghai Shenhua event in February
However Ighalo told BBC Sport that he had no intention of going to the Nou Camp to warm the Barca bench and that rejecting the Catalan giants was an ‘easy decision’.
Ighalo, who had previously spent five years in Spain with Granada, explained: ‘My agent spoke to me about a loan interest from Barcelona. The club wanted a striker with La Liga experience and someone who understands Spanish football.
‘It was meant to be a six-month loan and strictly as a back-up striker. It was nice to hear that Barcelona were interested and any footballer would be more than happy to take it.
‘With due respect I had just finished as the second top scorer in China with 21 goals, I deserve better and didn’t want to be a short-term player somewhere.
‘We rejected it, it was an easy decision to make and I chose to stay in China by joining Shanghai Shenhua on a longer contract.’
Ighalo in action for Nigeria against the Seychelles in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying