Former Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo is close to joining Saudi Arabian top-flight club Al Shabab on a permanent contract from Shanghai Shenhua, according to Sky Sports.
The deal is subject to medical examination and agreement of personal terms with the Saudi Arabia transfer window still active until 7 February.
31-year-old Ighalo who is currently on holiday in Dubai recently completed his long loan deal with Manchester United from the Chinese side of Shanghai Shenhua.
Ighalo, according to Sky Sports, was due to return to his parent club but they have given him permission to speak to the Saudi Arabian side.
Founded in 1947, the Saudi Arabian side is based in Riyadh and was named at first Shabab Al Riyadh until 1967 when it was renamed Al Shabab FC.
Sky Sports further disclosed last night that:“ Ighalo, who has been on loan at Manchester United for a year, has agreed on a permanent deal with Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab. The move is subject to him passing medical and agreeing personal terms.”
Ighalo scored five goals in 23 appearances across all competitions for United after arriving on Deadline Day last January but has made only two starts this season since Edinson Cavani joined in October.
Ighalo confirmed his departure from Old Trafford in an emotional farewell message last Tuesday.
“It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end,” he wrote on social media. “But I give God the glory for helping me fulfill this lifelong dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club.
“To the manager, I say thank you for trusting and believing in me when many did not.”
Regarded as one of the most ‘nomadic’ Nigerian footballers, Ighalo has played for a clutches of clubs in Europe since he left Nigeria in the early 2000s and has featured for the likes of Lyn Oslo (Norway); Udinese, Casena (Italy); Granada (Spain); Watford (England) and Changchun Yatai(China).