Odion Ighalo has revealed why he left his boyhood club Manchester United and turned down offers from West Brom and West Ham’s to stay in the Premier League.
He also said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was “unfair” to him during his time at Manchester United.
The former Super Eagles of Nigeria captain joined Manchester United in January 2020 from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua on an initial six-month loan.
His deal was later extended in June 2020 until January this year, when he left for Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab after scoring five goals in 23 appearances for the Premier League club.
But the 31-year-old started just two games this season before departing.
And while Ighalo continues to “love” the Red Devils, he admits he had to leave after he was regularly snubbed by Solskjaer.
Speaking to Sky Sports about his departure, Ighalo says he is ‘so happy’ he was able to represent Manchester United but admits he left his dream club due to a lack of game time.
“There wasn’t much possibility because I wanted more playing time,” Ighalo told Sky Sports when asked if he could have extended his stay with United.
“At my age, I want to play and not just sit on the bench and not have any minutes.
“I didn’t just want to be there picking up a salary – I wanted to be involved so I said to my agent that if an offer comes in, I will look at it and see what’s best for me, which is what I did.
“After my initial loan was extended, I did not play much which was perhaps a bit unfair but as I said, I am always grateful for the opportunity.”
Chelsea extend Thomas Tuchel’s contract to 2024
Chelsea FC have announced the extension of contract of Manager Thomas Tuchel to 2024, after winning the second Champion League trophy for the London-based team last week.
Chelsea, on its official website, said: “The Club is very happy to confirm that, following our triumph in the Champions League, Thomas Tuchel’s contract has been extended by two years, as agreed when he joined the Club.
“Our head coach took over the role in January and oversaw a rise up the Premier League table to a fourth-place finish, ensuring our place in the Champions League for 2021/22 even before being crowned its winners this season.
“Chelsea under Tuchel also reached the FA Cup final where a single Leicester City goal defeated us, but silverware was captured two weeks later when Manchester City were beaten by an impressive all-round team display in Porto.”
On the extension of his contract Tuchel said: ‘I cannot imagine a better occasion for a contract renewal. I am grateful for the experience and very happy to stay part of the Chelsea family.
“There is far more to come and we are looking forward to our next steps with ambition and much anticipation.’
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: ‘When Thomas joined us in January there was still so much to play for domestically and in Europe. He slotted in seamlessly and immediately became an integral part of the Chelsea family.
‘Returning us to the top four in the Premier League was crucial, and we could not be happier with our success in the Champions League which crowned a remarkable season at Chelsea.
‘We are obviously extremely pleased therefore to retain Thomas for a further two years, and look forward to more achievements in the coming seasons.’
Chelsea and Manchester City fans in shameful brawls before final match
One clip shows two small groups of fans scuffling outside a boozer including two lads who exchange punches and kicks. Others at the bar throw drinks at each other before police officers with batons disperse the crowd.
Pictures from earlier on Friday also show fans brawling in the centre of Porto before the European Cup final.
Thursday saw the second night of violence in the city as riot cops had to disperse brawling fans as staff closed pubs due to Covid restrictions.
A number of supporters were not aware of the strict 10.30pm drinking curfew to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, reports the Mirror.
People were involved in clashes with police officers, it has been reported.
Two fans were reportedly injured after shameful clashes near Porto’s Sao Bento railway station and in the city’s riverside quarter.
One Chelsea fan was pictured drenched in claret as blood poured from his mouth which had been busted open.
Trouble is also said to have flared after City fans started taunting holidaying Manchester United fans whose team had just gone out on penalties to Villarreal in the Europa League final.
Police sources said incidents of fighting had been resolved “quickly.”
Manchester City brushed aside PSG in the semi-finals to reach their first ever Champions League final.
Chelsea beat 13-times European champions Real Madrid to book their place in the last round – which is their third appearance in a CL final since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
UEFA moved the big match from Istanbul to Portugal to allow English fans to travel due to the surging number of cases in Turkey.
Some 16,500 fans will be allowed into the stadium. Many others have come to support their teams outside.
Police commander Paula Peneda told reporters authorities were expecting many English fans without a ticket in the city on Saturday but could not specify a number.
Officials said they could not stop fans moving around because British tourists are now allowed in and out of Portugal if they present a negative PCR test.
Jesse Lingard’s customized watch stolen from the dressing room while playing on the pitch
England footballer, Jesse Lingard’s customized watch designed by Swiss maker Richard Mille was stolen from West Ham’s dressing room during a game.
The thief struck while he was playing against Everton on the 9th of May this year.
His current club West Ham say they have no idea how a thief sneaked into the heavily-guarded dressing room during a game and despite all efforts by players and staff to search the room on May 9, the watch wasn’t found.
Lingard has a collection of expensive watches and the one stolen is specially designed by Swiss maker Richard Mille.
Rooms at the West Ham’s Stadium are only accessible to players and senior officials and are constantly monitored by CCTV and also patrolled by security, so the case is a mystery to police.
A source said:
“Jesse was devastated, but nobody can believe it.
“It’s completely unheard of for something to be stolen from inside the players’ dressing rooms during a game.
“Security at the stadium is top class. There are staff guarding the tunnel and all those areas — as well as CCTV all over the place.
“Of course everyone has searched high and low but it appears it has definitely been taken, and there was no option but to call in the police.
“Everyone is gutted for him, he loved that watch and thought it would be safe.
“It goes without saying Premier League footballers are well paid, and many of them have expensive items including clothing and jewellery.
“But it would just never occur to anyone that it could be taken from there. It’s a real shock.”