Former Watford striker Odion Ighalo has revealed that he snubbed interest from La Liga champions Barcelona earlier this year.
The 29-year-old, who left Vicarage Road in 2017 after scoring 36 goals in 90 Premier League games, has been a big hit since moving to China.
Ighalo finished the 2018 season as the CSL’s second-top scorer with 21 goals and Barcelona were said to be keen to considering a loan move for him during the January transfer window.
However Ighalo told BBC Sport that he had no intention of going to the Nou Camp to warm the Barca bench and that rejecting the Catalan giants was an ‘easy decision’.
Ighalo, who had previously spent five years in Spain with Granada, explained: ‘My agent spoke to me about a loan interest from Barcelona. The club wanted a striker with La Liga experience and someone who understands Spanish football.
‘It was meant to be a six-month loan and strictly as a back-up striker. It was nice to hear that Barcelona were interested and any footballer would be more than happy to take it.
‘With due respect I had just finished as the second top scorer in China with 21 goals, I deserve better and didn’t want to be a short-term player somewhere.
‘We rejected it, it was an easy decision to make and I chose to stay in China by joining Shanghai Shenhua on a longer contract.’