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06th Feb 2016

Watford striker Odion Ighalo turned down ludicrous money to play in China

Ben Kenyon

Chinese clubs just have money to burn at the moment.

Mega bucks have already been splashed out on Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira by Chinese Super League sides.

While the lure of big money was apparently too much to resist for the likes of Atletico Madrid man Martinez and one-time Liverpool target Teixeira, there was one player having none of it.

That’s free-scoring striker Odion Ighalo. The forward, who has bagged 14 league goals for the Hornets this season, revealed he was also subject of a big money bid from the Far East.

He was offered a ridiculous £300,000-a-week deal to join Hebei China Fortune BEFORE this Premier League season had already started (so f**k knows what they’d be willing to shell out on him now).

Ighalo revealed he mulled over the eye-watering offer for a few days – but he said God set him straight.

‘I was very close,’ he said. ‘They made a £10m bid and were offering me over £200,000 a week; a four-year contract.

‘I couldn’t sleep for three days. That kind of money is not easy to turn down. Some team-mates in the dressing room were saying, “You can’t miss this chance”. But I don’t jump into decisions like that.

‘I prayed about it, and God said it was not for me, no matter how much money it was. I knew God would direct me. When I said I don’t want to go, they offered me more money, almost £300,000 a week. I told them it’s not about the money.’

WATFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Odion Ighalo of Watford is held back by John Terry of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road on February 3, 2016 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Ighalo’s dream was always to play in the Premier League – and he stuck to his guns. His 14-goal haul was rewarded with a bumper new contract at Watford – erm, £30,000-a-week.

‘They have called again and I have turned them down again,’ Ighalo told the Daily Mail.

‘I helped this team to promotion. How can I leave because of money? I know money is good. With that sort of money I can secure my life. But you can’t sell your dream.

‘Maybe if I keep scoring goals, that team will come with triple the money at the end of the season. When the time is right to go to China I will know. If it’s for me it will come to pass.’

Massive respect for this.