ENGLISH Premier League giants Newcastle United are looking at the prospect of signing Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo during the January transfer window as part of s desperate plan to avoid relegation this season.
Currently second from bottom in the 20-team table, Newcastle are staring at the drop at the end of the season despite the fact that it is now the richest club in the Premier League following its recent purchase by an Arab consortium. Keen to avoid having to claw their way back from the second tier of English football, Newcastle’s owners are hoping that Ighalo can provide the goals that will save the club from the drop.
Currently plying his trade with Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia, Ighalo is no stranger to the Premier League, having previously played for Watford and Manchester United. Newcastle is believed to have informally asked Ighalo if he would be interested in joining their ranks and the striker is said to be interested in the move.
Ighalo is the joint top scorer in the Saudi Professional League this season with nine goals. While in England, Ighalo scored 40 goals in 100 appearances for Watford between 2014 and 2017 and netted five times in 23 games for Manchester United during his year-long spell at the club between January 2020 and January 2021.
Newcastle are working hard on a wish-list of players provided by new manager Eddie Howe to improve their squad in January. He and his staff have drawn up a catalogue of talent they would like to sign but they have found themselves between a rock and a hard place as they try to balance the short-term task of survival and a longer-term vision that may include playing in the English Championship.
Many of the players Newcastle seeks are reluctant to join a relegation fight and even more keen to avoid playing in the second tier during a World Cup year. In England, the transfer window opens on January 1 and among the players linked with Newcastle are Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele and Tottenham centre-half Joe Rodon.