Odion Ighalo has opened the door to a potential switch to MLS as he approaches the end of his loan spell at Manchester United.
The Red Devils surprised many when they snapped up Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua on a six-month deal in last year’s winter transfer window.
The 31-year-old scored five goals for United in the second half of the 2020-19 campaign despite mainly being used as a substitute, providing valuable cover for Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the final third of the pitch.
United decided to extend Ighalo’s loan through to 2021 at the start of June but he has been starved of regular minutes in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad since the start of their latest campaign.
Edinson Cavani’s arrival at Old Trafford on a free transfer saw the Nigerian frontman fall completely out of favour, with the 31-year-old only managing four appearances in all competitions so far this season.
Ighalo will return to his parent club at the end of the month, but he is not planning to stay in China for the long-term having already pinpointed the United States as a possible next destination.
“I have been watching MLS and the league is doing well and I would like to play in the MLS,” the Shanghai Shenhua loanee told ESPN.
“I have to wait for offers and if the opportunity arises, I will take it because the league is doing well and it is a good life and I would love it.
“Lots of players go there. Even Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus is there, also Giovanni dos Santos. Why not? I would like to go there if an opportunity arises. Being an experienced player, going there, doing well. It is an opportunity if it comes for me.
“The David Beckham club [Inter Miami] is growing, so if an opportunity arises why not?”
Regardless of where Ighalo ends up in the near future, he says playing for United has been the pinnacle of his career and that he will look back on his time at Old Trafford with great pride.
“It was a good one and a tough one, before I came to United I never thought I would play,” he said. “I’m a Reds fan.
“If you ask anybody where I grew up, we fight because of Manchester United. We quarrel and argue. So when my team didn’t do well they would start to insult and argue with me and I cried. I can tell you I’m the happiest man on earth for my dream to come true, I fulfilled my dream.
“I remember the night my agent called me to tell me Manchester United wanted me, it was 10 or 11pm. Shanghai time. I was under my bed naked, I didn’t sleep until daybreak.
“I don’t care about a pay cut, I just want go to Manchester United because this is my dream. I was under my bed shivering and walking around my room and I did not sleep until 6am.
“I’m fulfilled as a football player, if I don’t achieve anything from now when I finish my career I am fulfilled.” (Goal)