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Ighalo Claims He Snubbed Barcelona Transfer Because He ‘Deserved Better’
Former Watford star Odion Ighalo says he snubbed the chance to join Barcelona this season because he “deserved better”. Nigeria international Ighalo was offered the shock chance of joining the Spanish giants in January on a deal until the end of the season.
But the 29-year-old, who scored 36 Premier League goals in three years at Watford, rejected the move to the Nou Camp in favour of staying in the Chinese Super League.
Igahlo told BBC Africa: “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.
“But 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 scored 21 goals to finish the second highest scorer in CSL in 2018, and has now committed himself to a three-year deal with Shenhua.
Ighalo added: “You need to weigh things up properly in life and ask yourself if it is your call to make, or one to satisfy others. “I respect my decision. I needed to focus on what is good for my career long-term and when you decide to do something – you stay true to yourself.
“It wasn’t for me and I am happy where I am.
“I have no regrets or whatsoever because I am happy at Shanghai Shenhua. To reunite and play under my former Watford coach [Quique Sánchez Flores] is exciting and I love it.”