Great Britain

Obafemi Martins, 35, rejoins Shanghai Shenhua after two years without a club as replacement for Man Utd ace Odion Ighalo

ODION IGHALO'S success at Manchester United has led to Shanghai Shenhua re-signing former forward Obafemi Martins.

The 35-year-old is best remembered in the Premier League for spells with Newcastle and Birmingham, but had been without a club for two years.

Originally leaving Shanghai in 2018, the striker suffered a serious hamstring injury and yet he vowed not to retire.

And his second chance in the Chinese Super League comes amid Shenhua's need for a striker with Ighalo on loan at Old Trafford until the end of January.

Martins said at his unveiling: “I had been bothered by injuries. It’s a good feeling to come back to a team I’m familiar with."

Rising to fame with Inter Milan, the Nigerian spent three years at Newcastle before stints in Germany, Russia, Spain and the United States.

He returned to England for a short loan spell with Birmingham in 2011, famously scoring the winner in his side's League Cup final with Arsenal.

After leaving Shanghai, Martins told BBC last year: "I love football and I'm still passionate about it, so retirement thoughts haven't crossed my mind.‬

‪"I cannot rush into the next club because at this stage I can make important decisions for myself and my body."

Shanghai kick off their season against Guangzhou Evergrande on July 25 after the campaign was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is not known how long Martins' contract with the club is, and it may be linked to Ighalo's eventual return from Manchester.

The former Watford forward was a shock deadline day signing in January but proved his worth with four goals for United before football's shutdown.

That convinced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sign up the 31-year-old for an extended stay, with Ighalo currently boasting five goals from 14 appearances at Old Trafford.

Odion Ighalo happy to take £6 million pay cut to join Man United on permanent transfer

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