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I Didn’t Want To Sit On The Bench’: Odion Ighalo Reveals Why He Left Manchester United And Turned Down West Brom And West Ham’s Offers

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Odion Ighalo has revealed why he left his boyhood club Manchester United and turned down offers from West Brom and West Ham’s to stay in the Premier League.

The former Super Eagles of Nigeria captain joined Manchester United in January 2020 from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua on an initial six-month loan.

His deal was later extended in June 2020 until January this year, when he left for Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab after scoring five goals in 23 appearances for the Premier League club.

Speaking to Sky Sports about his departure, Ighalo says he is ‘so happy’ he was able to represent Manchester United but admits he left his dream club due to a lack of game time.

Asked if he could have stayed beyond January this year, Ighalo said: ‘There wasn’t much possibility because I wanted more playing time. At my age, I want to play and not just sit on the bench and not have any minutes.

‘I didn’t just want to be there picking up a salary – I wanted to be involved so I said to my agent that if an offer comes in, I will look at it and see what’s best for me, which is what I did.

‘I’m so happy that my path crossed with Manchester United – it’s the club I love with all my heart and for all my life so playing for them was a big privilege that I do not take for granted.

‘No matter the circumstances that led me to leave, I will always be grateful to the coach, my team-mates, the fans, and everyone around Manchester United. After my initial loan was extended, I did not play much which was perhaps a bit unfair but as I said, I am always grateful for the opportunity.’

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Ighalo also revealed that West Ham and West Brom both made offers to keep him in the Premier League when he was set to leave Manchester United,

‘Yeah, there was the possibility of West Ham and West Brom to stay in the Premier League, which I thought about,’ he added.

‘But after being at Manchester United, the biggest club in England if not the world, what else could I possibly do in the Premier League?

‘I had good offers to stay in England, but I just didn’t think I could stay after achieving my dream of playing for the club I had supported since I was young.’

While there are reports that Paul Pogba, one of Ighalo’s former United teammates could leave the club this summer, Ighalo believes the United board must do everything within their power to keep the ‘influential’ 28-year-old France midfielder.

‘He’s one of the best players I’ve played with and one of the best players at Manchester United. Apart from playing on the pitch, he’s a good guy in the dressing room, a funny guy, he’s always happy.

‘The only time he isn’t happy is when he’s not playing and I can understand that – everyone wants to play. If Manchester United have the opportunity to keep him on a new, longer deal, they should because he is so influential.’

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Ghanaians To Donate GHS100 Monthly To Build The National Cathedral

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The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Attah has revealed that Ghanaians will be made to donate GHS100 monthly in their yet-to-be-launched “Ketewa Biara Sua” fund as part of the move to build the National Cathedral.

He made the proposal during the mid-year budget review to the 8th parliament, adding that the National Cathedral is progressing steadily.

“Work on the National Cathedral is progressing speedily and following the program of the contractor. The National Cathedral is expected to be officially commissioned on March 6, 2024. Upon completion, the National Cathedral will provide a space for formal religious activities of state and symbolize the enormous contribution of faith to nation-building,” the Minister said.

“This state and church partnership envisaged by the president to develop the National Cathedral is on course. An initiative; the GHC100 a month also dubbed “Ketewa Biara sua” will be launched by the trustees of the National Cathedral on August 12, 2021, to give as many Ghanaians as possible the opportunity to be part of the history of the National Cathedral,” he further stated.

Ken Ofori Atta said that the movement is to get about 1 million Ghanaians who would be willing to donate GHS100 towards the construction of the Cathedral.

“A special shortcode 979 has been developed for this purpose as we look forward to Mr speaker and all the members of this august house join in the GHc100/a month,” he noted.

Just as Nehemiah faced criticism for building a house of God, the members of the fundraising program believe that the Akufo Addo-led government will face serious criticism from the opposition in their quest to build the National Cathedral.

Well, as Ghanaians prepare to embark on a massive demonstration against the government over their basic needs like the creation of jobs to reduce the level of unemployment in the country, stable electricity and water, good roads, and other social amenities in the #FixTheCountry campaign, the government rather use funds available to fund the National Cathedral.

Not only that, but they also want the ordinary Ghanaian who hustles on the street for daily bread should donate the little they earn from their trade to build the National Cathedral which in no way solves any of the issues facing them.

President Nana Akufo Addo and his government continue to prove to Ghanaians that it was a grave mistake to ever vote them into power with regards to the current happenings and the neglection of developmental projects to tackle needless projects like the National Cathedral.

Obviously, this movement will be met with anger and disappointments from Ghanaians especially with the idea of donating to fund the project.

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Gideon Mensah Set For Bordeaux Move

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Gideon Mensah, Ghana international defender is set for a move to French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux from RB Salzburg.

According to transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, an agreement has been reached with RB Salzburg for highly rated left back to join Bordeaux.

https://twitter.com/FabrizioRomano/status/1420691869848190977?s=20

It will be a season long loan deal with option to buy.

Mensah is expected to become Gerard Lopez’s first signing.

The 23 year old spent the 2020/2021 season on loan at Portuguese side Vitoria Guiramaes, making 22 league appearances.

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Barcelona Reveals Reason Why They Want To Sell Griezmann

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Joan Laporta, Barcelona President has revealed why the club is so desperate to get rid of Antoine Griezmann even though he has been with the club for just two years.

While the Frenchman may not have set the world alight in his time at the Catalan club following his big-money move from Atletico Madrid, he remains a key asset for Barcelona.

Well, he was anyway.

The club have been looking to balance their wage books all summer and have been trying to get rid of some of their players.

Even captain Lionel Messi had to agree to a 50% salary cut to remain at the Blaugrana who are now turning their attention to the other high earners in the squad.

“Griezmann is a player that has a market, with clubs interested, and we are building the squad searching for a financial equilibrium,” Laporta recently told the Spanish press.

Laporta admitted that while they may not want to let Griezmann go, given the huge interest across Europe for the striker, they would be willing to seel him to take another huge burden off their wage books.

“But if the market moves, we are open to all offers because we are in a delicate moment where we have to balance financial fair play and because of that, we should speak with all the players so that it does not hurt them, or for the least time possible.

“We are making these balances and are open to all the options that the market can give us, but we don’t want to harm the team competitively.”

Barcelona were hoping that other players would follow in Messi’s footsteps but it appears that some are proving to be a bit more resistant.

According to Spanish newspaper, Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are concluding legal action against players who reject the wage cuts.

While Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique have agreed cuts, Jordi Alba isn’t as willing, the paper said.

The club had started processes to trim that wage bill, terminating Matheus Fernandes’ contract.

Barcelona tried to do the same with defender Samuel Umtiti and midfielder Miralem Pjanic, hoping their exits would create the space they need to re-sign Messi.

However, Umtiti, in particular, is proving a tad difficult, with the Frenchman unwilling to leave the club until at least the end of next season.

Barcelona told the pair in a letter, sections of which were published by Marca, that “given the current financial situation of the club and the salary limit, we’re giving the player the option to terminate their contract with the club and to leave”.

Pjanic has three years left on his current deal, while Umtiti has two years on his contract and stand to lose €50 million and €35 million should they agree to terminate their contract.

With the players knowing that they won’t earn that salary anywhere else, they are clearly reluctant to give up their current deals.

Barcelona’s wages for the season before last was an amount of €671 million, however, that amount was reduced significantly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The Spanish top flight’s salary cap for the previous campaign was €382.7 million, with Barcelona given some leeway.

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