Ighalo to Manchester United “gathering traction” as Red Devils seek striker

Some moves catch your eye in a, “Wow! What a capture!” way. See FC Cincinnati possibly luring Jurgen Locadia away from Brighton.

Others, not as much.

On the surface, Odion Ighalo‘s possible loan move to Manchester United sits firmly in the latter category.

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The 30-year-old is available due to the coronavirus-inspired suspension to the start of the Chinese Super League season.

Sky Sports’ James Cooper says the earlier whispers are “gathering a bit of traction.”

“A deal for Odion Ighalo is gathering a bit of traction. I’m led to believe Manchester United are exploring short-term deals with other strikers – and he is a name that is gathering traction. They might be able to get him as the Chinese Super League hasn’t started yet. I’ve got to be pretty tentative about this, but it’s a name that hasn’t been shut down like other names that were shut down quickly like Willian Jose – I’m not getting that on Ighalo.”

Ighalo has lit up the CSL in his three seasons between Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua, and has 16- and 20-goal Premier League seasons on his resume.

He’s also scored sixteen times in 35 caps for Nigeria, including five in this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations.

So there’s reason to believe he can still perform at the PL level, even given his poor final half-season at Watford.

Maybe this comes down to the change in perception at Manchester United. Is it a new normal or a temporary normal to see one of the world’s richest and powerful clubs unable to buy a striker?

It mahy sound silly for United to chase Ighalo’s signature, but they need a striker and Ighalo has been regularly bagging goals. It’s been less than a half-decade since he scored 20 in the league.

Maybe it’s not so insane?

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.