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Manchester United seals surprising loan for Odion Ighalo

2019 CFA Cup Final - Shanghai Greenland Shenhua   v Shandong Luneng Taishan

SHANGHAI, CHINA - DECEMBER 06: Odion Ighalo of Shanghai Greenland Shenhua and teammates celebrate with the trophy during the award ceremony after the 2019 CFA Cup Final - Shanghai Greenland Shenhua v Shandong Luneng Taishan at Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium on December 6, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

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Some surprising moves catch your eye in a, “Wow! What a capture!” way. See FC Cincinnati possibly luring Jurgen Locadia away from Brighton.

Others, not as much.

On the surface, Odion Ighalo’s reported loan move to Manchester United sits firmly in the latter category.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 30-year-old is available due to the coronavirus-inspired suspension to the start of the Chinese Super League season, and supported United as a youngster.

Sky Sports says the move includes an option to buy.

Ighalo has lit up the CSL in his three seasons between Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua, and has 16- and 20-goal Premier League seasons on his resume.

He’s also scored sixteen times in 35 caps for Nigeria, including five in this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations.

So there’s reason to believe he can still perform at the PL level, even given his poor final half-season at Watford.

Maybe this comes down to the change in perception at Manchester United. Is it a new normal or a temporary normal to see one of the world’s richest and powerful clubs unable to buy a striker?

It mahy sound silly for United to chase Ighalo’s signature, but they need a striker and Ighalo has been regularly bagging goals. It’s been less than a half-decade since he scored 20 in the league.

Maybe it’s not so insane?

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via