Odion Ighalo is getting ready to live his dream as a Manchester United player.
The only downside for him is that it is only for a few months, a brief loan move from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.
If he performs well and scores a hatful of goals, he will fancy his chances of a permanent switch to Old Trafford.
Ighalo has already confirmed he took a paycut to sign with United. Another sacrifice he has made makes a longer move possible.
It was confirmed last week The African Nations Cup date for 2021 have been shifted back from the summer, to take place mid-season, starting on January 9, BBC Sport reports.
This is a blow to European clubs who face losing key players in January and February.
This will affect United with Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly, but that decision is already made, he is under contract. For Ighalo, this would have been a problem.
However, he declared after the 2019 AFCON in which he finished as top scorer, that he has retired from international football.
While as AllAfrica reported last summer he could reverse his decision, Ighalo was not involved in the AFCON qualifiers late last year.
If he was considering coming back, it will likely be determined by his United future.
Should United want him permanently, it makes no sense for him to return to international football. It could even scupper the move.
But if United decide the loan is just a loan, and should end there, Ighalo might decide next year to have one last run after his profile in Nigerian rocketed amid an outpouring of admiration from fans.
Returning for the tournament has to be tempting, but by retiring, he has already made a sacrifice and removed an obstacle concerning a permanent move to Old Trafford if he performs well.
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