|Cristian Andal |||Jan 31, 2017 11:45 PM EST|
(Photo : Getty Images) Watford sells Odion Ighalo to Changchun Yatai for $25 million.
English Premier League club Watford FC has sold striker Odion Ighalo to Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai for a fee of $25 million.
BBC Sport reported that Chinese side Changchun Yatai offered £20 million ($25 million) for Ighalo and the Hornets agreed to the deal, letting go of their prized striker who had been with the club for two-and-a-half seasons.
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Watford acquired the 27-year-old Nigeria international in the summer of 2014 from Italian Serie A squad Udinese Calcio for an undisclosed fee. He has helped the Hornets get promoted to the Premier League at the end of the 2014-2015 season, scoring 20 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions at that time.
Ighalo then netted 17 times in 42 games in all competitions in his first stint in the English top-flight, emerging as the squad's leading goalscorer after outscoring club captain Troy Deeney by two goals.
However, the 5-foot-11 Lagos native has been struggling this season with only two goals to show in 18 appearances for the Hertfordshire outfit. He has not scored in his last 15 games for the Hornets this term.
Watford is currently 13th in the Premier League, eight points above the bottom three relegation area. The club recently welcomed strikers M'Baye Niang, on loan from AC Milan, and Mauro Zarate from Fiorentina as replacements for Ighalo.
The Mirror indicated that Ighalo will receive £200,000 ($250,000) per week at Changchun, a significant increase from what he was earning in England.
Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri had hinted of the imminent transfer a day before it was made official, saying "Every morning I ask the club what the situation is, and negotiations are now at an advanced stage, so it should only be a matter of a couple of days".
Another Chinese club, Shanghai SIPG, had offered Watford $47 million last summer, but the Hornets turned it down even though Ighalo's market value is at its highest during that time.
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