Manchester United News: Odion Ighalo, Wayne Rooney

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It’s February Premier League break, so Manchester United are off until the 17th, when they travel to Chelsea for a crunch clash league fixture. The January transfer window is also over, but there is plenty to discuss with the dust having just settled on that. Let’s take a look at some of the news items trending in cyberspace right now during these early days of the break.

We’ll cover the club’s newest striker, Odion Ighalo, and the most productive in club history, Wayne Rooney.

We start with Ighalo, who made an 11th hour on deadline day loan move to Old Trafford. This is his dream move, as United was his boyhood club, and he grew up idolizing Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.

He’ll wear the number 25 at United, a club that he took a pay cut in order to join. Odion Ighalo was playing in China, a league where players are often very overpaid, and he took a pay cut to join his favorite club, United.

“My agent called me the day before and said Man United,” the 30-year-old Nigerian said to ManUtd.com. “I would love to go.

“A few other clubs had shown interest, I said please, just pick United, if it’s going to be possible. At 11 p.m. in Shanghai, my agent called me [to say] that United want to do the deal, so I woke up that night and started looking for a translator to go to the directors’ room and hit his door and all that.”

“My agent wants to speak to you, United are coming for me, you have to make this happen and all that you know. So they started talking and discussing. I didn’t sleep throughout that night, because it was going to end at 7 a.m., Shanghai time, and the transfer [window] is going to close there,” the former Watford man continued.

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“So, from 11 p.m., there was paperwork, negotiating and all that, for the loan deal and all that, so we are talking and other teams are calling them, wanting me, but I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here. He said you’re going to get a pay-cut to go to United. I said I don’t care. Make this deal happen. I want to go to United.”

“I don’t care how much is the pay-cut, I know that, make it happen. So the director and everybody didn’t know what to say anymore, because I had already made up my mind, so my agent started putting it in order, and, at 5 a.m., we finished.

“My agent said he’d forwarded all the papers to United, they will confirm for me if everything is OK. I think, around 5 a.m.-6 a.m., he said: ‘Everything is OK, it’s done.’

“I was excited. I called my mum and she was happy, crying and all that. This is your dream and all that and I’m happy for you.”

“It was dramatic, I didn’t sleep through, I was very happy that finally we got the deal done.”

What an amazing story! Whom among us would have been able to sleep in such a situation.

Next we move on to Wayne Rooney, who donned the red shirt for 13 years and ended up the club’s all-time leading scorer. He also won five Premier League titles, and a Champions League in 2008 and FA Cup.

One win he hasn’t achieved though, is a victory over his former club. Rooney has faced United six times, all while with Everton, and lost all six.

Now with Derby County, his current side just beat Northampton last night in a FA Cup fourth round replay, and that means they’ll get United in the fifth round.

“He’s going to face the club where he had a wonderful career so of course it is special,” Derby manager boss Phillip Cocu.

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“He comes back from the States, joins us and now plays his old club where he had a great career. We have to wait for a month but I’m sure he’ll be ready. It will be a beautiful game not just for Wayne, but everyone at the club.

“It’s a great game to look forward to and we will also try to win it, against a strong opponent.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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