Odion Ighalo has revealed that he wanted to stay in the Premier League following his move to Chinese side Changchun Yatai in January.
The Nigerian completed his transfer from Watford last month but had pinned his hopes on staying in England’s top flight after interest from West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.
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“When the options came, my priority was to stay in England. West Brom came but what Watford wanted made it impossible to go there,” Ighalo said, according to The Sun.
“On a personal level, it [the move to China] is good money for me but if I had my way I would love to stay in the Premier League.”
Watford held out for £20 million for their striker and this is reportedly what Changchun Yatai paid for his services.
West Brom did in fact lodge an offer but it fell short of the Hornets’ valuation and he instead moved to China, where he is said to be earning an astonishing £190,000 per week.
Ighalo joined Watford in the summer of 2014 from Italian side Udinese and was an instant hit with the Hertfordshire-based club.
He scored 20 Championship goals in his first season and was a major factor in the team securing promotion to the Premier League.
The 27-year-old initially flourished in the top division of English football and notched 15 times in 2015-16 as Watford comfortably avoided relegation, eventually finishing 13th.
However, he has started just 14 times this term and scored only once, in the 4-2 win over West Ham United in October.
A transfer was always on the cards in January and whilst Ighalo may not have got the move he desired, he must now concentrate on living up to his billing in the Far East.