Odion Ighalo has joined Manchester United
Odion Ighalo has joined Manchester United on loan. Nigel Roddis/Shutterstock.

Manchester United have completed the deadline-day signing of former Watford striker Odion Ighalo, who has joined on loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.

The Red Devils moved late to recruit the former Nigeria international following an injury to Marcus Rashford, though the agreement isn’t said to include a purchase option, per BBC Sport’s Simon Stone.

Ighalo, 30, scored 40 goals in 100 total appearances for the Hornets, spending three years at Vicarage Road before he joined Changchun Yatai in 2017. He scored 36 goals in 55 appearances for the club before joining Chinese rivals Shenhua in February 2019, where he netted 10 times in 19 games across his first campaign in Shanghai.

The Mirror’s David McDonnell wrote United will pay in the region of £5 million for the six-month loan, contributing half of the forward’s £300,000-a-week wages.

Ighalo arrives at Old Trafford one day after the Premier League powerhouse completed the signing of Sporting CP playmaker Bruno Fernandes, who joined for a reported $61 million (€55 million). The club also signed 20-year-old goalkeeper Nathan Bishop from Southend United on Friday.

David Hytner of the Guardian reported Rashford could be out for “between two and three months” after he suffered a double stress back fracture in mid-January.

It could work in United’s favour that Ighalo is coming off the back of the Chinese Super League off-season, though a fresh player may also require some time to attain full match fitness.

The former Granada and Udinese attacker scored 15 goals in 37 appearances for Watford in the 2015-16 Premier League season, his debut term and only full campaign in England’s top tier.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope the likes of Anthony Martial and Daniel James can fuel Ighalo’s goal hunt as Rashford’s temporary replacement. The new arrival could be in contention to make his second Premier League debut as a Red Devil when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.