Real Betis hope to bail
Former Super Eagles’ striker, Odion Jude Ighalo could become the next Nigerian forward to star for Real Betis of Spain, as the Spanish LaLiga side have reportedly opened a line of talks with his agents.
Although Ighalo has expressed a desire to remain in England, rather than return to his parent club, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, at the end of his current loan deal with Manchester United, he is now facing the prospect of moving to Spain instead.
Ighalo already has previous experience of playing in LaLiga, which Betis are angling to revive and utilize to the best of their advantage in the hunt for the striker’s signature, even as the prospects of playing in a top European league appear to appeal to the ex-international hitman.
It is, however, left to be seen if he will accept this offer from the former club of Finidi George (Finito) and Nosa Igiebor, as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations top scorer has already snubbed offers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United States of America this month.
Nonetheless, the latest transfer report trailing him indicates that Betis are keen on signing him at the end of his current extended loan at Old Trafford, which comes to a close on January 31; as the 31-year-old’s loan move at Old Trafford from Shanghai Shenhua is due to expire at the end of this month and there will be no extension on the agreement.
A report by Estadio Deportivo, affirmed that Ighalo is not keen on a move back to the Chinese Super League, where he is expected to resume action in February, but the next port of call is not yet known for the former Prime FC of Osogbo, Julius Berger FC of Lagos, Lyn Oslo of Norway, Udinese of Italy, Granada of Spain, Watford of England and Changchun Yatai of China star.
The report adds: “La Liga club Betis are exploring the possibility of signing the experienced striker on loan with a view to a permanent move at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
“Manuel Pellegrini’s side could face competition from a number of clubs, though, as teams from the MLS and Serie A are also said to be keeping a close eye on developments.
“Ighalo arrived at United last January and has scored five times in 23 appearances for the 20-time English champions, but he has only featured on four occasions this term.
“The striker, who has a contract with Shanghai until December 2021, also has previous experience of La Liga football, scoring 13 times in 73 appearances for Granada in Spain’s top flight.”