Nigeria's Odion Ighalo does not plan on playing in second division

By Oluwashina OkelejiFootball Writer, Nigeria
Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo
Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo was the second highest scorer in last season's Chinese Super League

Nigeria's Odion Ighalo has said he is in no rush to decide his future after being relegated from the Chinese Super League (CSL) with Changchun Yatai.

Ighalo, 29, finished as the CSL's second top scorer with 21 goals, but it was not enough to save the side.

He says he will use the coming weeks to consider whether to remain in Asia or return to Europe.

"Playing in the second division is not in my plans, so I need to weigh my options well," he told BBC Sport.

"There's the African Cup of Nations next year to think about and I need to keep playing at a highly competitive level.

"I don't know yet about my future. I cannot make a hasty decision so I'll use the next few weeks to decide.

"I have been getting direct calls from different agents and clubs, but now enjoying my Christmas break with the family and it is the job of my agent to speak to them."

Since his move from Watford in January 2017 Ighalo has scored 36 goals in 55 appearances.

"It is rather ironic that my best season in China ended in a relegation, I have never been relegated in my career so it hurts as the captain of a fantastic club with amazing people and incredible fans," he added.

"In life you can only make the move upward and forward."

Ighalo, who has played in Norway, Italy, Spain and English side Watford, is a target for many teams in China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

A former youth international, Ighalo has 10 goals in 25 appearances for the Super Eagles and his six goals helped Nigeria seal a return to the Africa Cup of Nations.

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