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ODION IGHALO has his beloved sister Mary’s name inscribed on his football boots.

It is also etched into a white T-shirt he will wear under the Manchester United jersey he will proudly don for the first time at Chelsea on Monday.

 Man Utd new boy Odion Ighalo treasures the memory of his sister, Mary, who was only 43 when she died in December

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Man Utd new boy Odion Ighalo treasures the memory of his sister, Mary, who was only 43 when she died in DecemberCredit: Instagram @ighalojude

 Striker Odion Ighalo, seen visiting Mary at her home in Canada, is still trying to come to terms with his sister's death

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Striker Odion Ighalo, seen visiting Mary at her home in Canada, is still trying to come to terms with his sister’s deathCredit: Instagram @ighalojude

 Loan signing Odion Ighalo will wear these boots inscribed with Mary's name and will dedicate each goal he scores to her

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Loan signing Odion Ighalo will wear these boots inscribed with Mary’s name and will dedicate each goal he scores to herCredit: Instagram @ighalojude

 Mary was a Man Utd fan, just like Odion, and always hoped he would join them

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Mary was a Man Utd fan, just like Odion, and always hoped he would join themCredit: Instagram @ighalojude

But United’s new loan signing admits he is struggling to come to terms with her sudden death, breaking down in tears when he is on his own.

Speaking for the first time about the December tragedy, Ighalo revealed: “I feel very emotional because it has not really struck me that my sister is gone forever and I am never going to see her again.

“Sometimes when I am alone and I just remember her, I have one sharp pain in my heart.

Mary was like a mother to all of us. Even when I was young she would look after me.

Odion Ighalo

“My twin sister, Akhere, will call me, crying, saying she misses her and, sometimes when I am alone, I cry too.

“It is a very painful loss but I am trying to be strong as a man.”

The Nigerian striker, 30, posted a poignant picture of himself with Mary on Instagram, announcing her shock death, accompanied by the words “RIP sister” together with a broken heart emoji.

Married Mary Atole collapsed at her home in Canada on the morning of December 12, just as she was getting her children ready for school. She was only 43.

Ighalo added: “It was a very painful moment.

 Odion Ighalo is proud to be the first Nigerian to play for Man Utd but devastated Mary is not here to see it

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Odion Ighalo is proud to be the first Nigerian to play for Man Utd but devastated Mary is not here to see itCredit: https://www.instagram.com/ighalojude/


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“She just collapsed and died before the kids could even call for an ambulance. When the medics arrived they tried to revive her but she was already gone.”

His heartache is shared by Akhere, elder sister Beatrice, brothers Austin and Moses and mother Martina.

Ighalo said: “Although she was my older sister, Mary was like a mother to all of us.

“Even when I was young she would look after me. She tried to make everybody happy, make sure everyone was OK.”

Mary was such a passionate United fan a framed picture of her in a Red Devils shirt, with her name on the back, hung on the wall of her home.

 Mary loved United, while her husband followed Chelsea, and their children supported Man City and Liverpool

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Mary loved United, while her husband followed Chelsea, and their children supported Man City and LiverpoolCredit: Social Media

They had grown up together in Ajegunle, a district in the heart of Nigeria’s capital city Lagos.

Ighalo added: “My sister was a strong United fan. All of us grew up watching Manchester United, we all supported them.

“Mary’s husband followed Chelsea, while their children were Manchester City and Liverpool fans, but she stayed loyal to United.

“She always prayed I would sign for United. Even when she came to watch me in the Premier League playing for Watford she hoped I would join United.

“The painful part for me is that I now HAVE signed for United, but she is not here to see it.

“However, I know she is up there watching me.

PRAYING FOR CHINA

DEVOUT Christian Odion Ighalo is praying for China as the deadly coronavirus claims more lives.

The striker, who spent three years in the Chinese Super League and won last year’s CFA Cup final, is anxious health chiefs can halt the spread of the deadly flu.

He said: “It is very sad what is going on in China.

“I am praying for China, for all those who are infected and who have lost their lives.

“China is part of my life, part of my history. I lived there for three years, had no problems and enjoyed my stay.

“It’s one of the best countries I have ever played in, so I pray by God’s grace it is resolved very soon so people can return to a normal life. God bless China.”

Although Ighalo has been training on his own since jetting into Manchester from Shanghai, he rubbished claims he has been banned from United’s Carrington HQ due to fears over the virus.

The rest of the squad are in Spain on a winter break. And he added: “I could not go because I had just arrived from China.

“That’s why I remain here. There is nobody at Carrington, everybody is in Spain.

“This is what we discussed before I came and before the team travelled to Spain.”

“That is why I am going to play with her name on my boots, so she is always with me at Old Trafford or in any game for Manchester United.

“Every goal I score from now until I finish my career will be dedicated to God and to her.

“I have written her name on my special white T-shirt and put her name on my boots. I want to show the world she is always with me.

“It means she can feel me playing at Old Trafford, feel that dream we all prayed for, even though she is not here to see it.

“But she will be on my feet, assisting me on the pitch.”

 Odion Ighalo won the 2019 CFA Cup final with Shanghai Shenhua and is now hoping to pick up silverware for Man Utd

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Odion Ighalo won the 2019 CFA Cup final with Shanghai Shenhua and is now hoping to pick up silverware for Man UtdCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Devout Christian Ighalo completed his loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day last month.

Despite interest from other Premier League and European clubs he was only interested in signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — even if it meant taking a pay-cut on his £300,000-a-week Chinese wages.

However, the player who scored 46 goals during his three seasons in China feared the deal could be wrecked by the coronavirus crisis.

He admitted: “Yeah, I was a bit scared.

“My agent, Atta Aneke, called me from Norway and said United wanted me, but were looking at another striker because I was in China and there was the coronavirus.

“I wanted it to happen, to fulfil a lifetime dream, so joining United was more important to me than money.

“Of course having money is good, but playing for Man United is a dream I have had since I was little.

“I wanted it to happen but I was relaxed. People starting sending me messages, my children were telling me ‘Hey, Papa, I hope it’s going to happen’.

“But I told them ‘If it is the will of God, it will happen, if it is not, then it won’t’.

I said ‘No, if it is not United, don’t speak to them. Let’s do the deal with United, I don’t mind a pay cut’

Odion Ighalo

“I was calm until Atta called me and said ‘Man U have decided they want you’. Then I told him to make it happen.

“I had been playing in China for three years and was OK there. I had some offers from Premier League clubs and from Europe.

“But I told my agent ‘If it is not Manchester United I am not coming’, even if it meant taking a pay cut to play for them.

“Some other Premier League club came and offered more money, but I said ‘No, if it is not United, don’t speak to them. Let’s do the deal with United, I don’t mind a pay cut’.


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“Achieving it makes me even more grateful and to become the first Nigerian to play for United is an honour I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

After the loan transfer was agreed, Ighalo flew from Shanghai to Dubai then on to Manchester, as his new team-mates departed for their warm weather training camp in Spain.

Since then, Ighalo has been working with a personal trainer at the Great Britain taekwondo centre near his Lowry Hotel base in Manchester.

But he will join up with his new team-mates tomorrow and is expected to play some part in Monday’s clash at Chelsea.

Ighalo added: “I want to thank the fans for all the messages of support since the day I arrived in Manchester.

“This is the biggest club in the world. I know it’s a new team and a big challenge, but I am going to give my best in every game to make sure we accomplish what we want. God bless all the United fans.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘to be handed mega £274m transfer warchest this summer’ starting with £100m Jadon Sancho move

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Inside the Icardis amazing £2.5m Italian villa on Lake Como, where the family is living during the coronavirus crisis

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WANDA NARA had to face the flak of fleeing to coronavirus-hit Italy from Paris, infuriating ex-husband and father of her children Maxi Lopez.

The Argentinian bombshell, and agent and husband to Inter Milan star Mauro Icardi, recently took her family to their luxury abode overlooking Lake Como, and her former beau called her out for breaking quarantine rules.

 Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara caused controversy by fleeing Paris during the coronavirus crisis

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Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara caused controversy by fleeing Paris during the coronavirus crisisCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 The Icardis are now self-isolating in their stunning home overlooking Lake Como

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The Icardis are now self-isolating in their stunning home overlooking Lake ComoCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

 The £2.5m villa boasts an unparalleled view

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The £2.5m villa boasts an unparalleled viewCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27


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But Nara, 33, insists she didn’t endanger her children, revealing she and the prolific striker drove nine-and-a-half hours to their £2.5million villa.

And judging by these pictures, it’s clear to see why the Icardis love their private and secluded Italian home so much.

BRIENNO

Some 40 miles from Milan, the property is in the city of Brienno – the neighbouring village to where George Clooney lives in Laglio.

The Icardis love spending their time in the picturesque front garden, which is clearly the property’s biggest selling point, in front of their fire pit.

Although Wanda has an apartment in Milan for work purposes when she appears on Italian TV, she has always stated this estate as her dream home.

In fact, when she was first presented with it in 2018, she shared a snap on Instagram with a view of the lake and wrote: “And your husband gives you the house of your dreams.”

THE KIDS LOVE IT

The family have five children, three from her previous relationship to Lopez, and the eldest kids love taking a dip in the lake.

Mauro has been seen enjoying a kickabout with the kids too, with two goals sitting in the garden that make a makeshift pitch.

 Wanda and Mauro Icardi love the outdoor fire pit

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Wanda and Mauro Icardi love the outdoor fire pitCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 The main property boasts three bedrooms, including Wanda's

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The main property boasts three bedrooms, including Wanda’sCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Wanda often shares snaps on Instagram inside the home

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Wanda often shares snaps on Instagram inside the homeCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 While in self-isolation, the Icardi family took full use of the grounds by having a picnic

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While in self-isolation, the Icardi family took full use of the grounds by having a picnicCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

 If the family are not outside, they are dining inside on the ground floor

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If the family are not outside, they are dining inside on the ground floorCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27

 A trampoline entertains the kids and Icardi in the grounds

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A trampoline entertains the kids and Icardi in the groundsCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Icardi has goals in his garden to have a kickabout

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Icardi has goals in his garden to have a kickaboutCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27

Often, Icardi’s dad Juan will man the barbecue and feed his grandchildren while they play out.

A breakfast veranda also allows Wanda and Mauro to enjoy a romantic meal outside together.

The manor house has three floors. Walking through the ground floor leads you to a bright living room with a terrace that offers a panoramic view of the lake.

A walk upstairs leads to three bedrooms and two bathrooms, while in the basement there’s a cellar, a laundry room, and another bathroom.

The property boasts a guest house too, which is divided into two apartments. They each have a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, living room, and kitchen, as well as space for four cars.

There is also a dock that has space for a small boat, as well as a jet-ski. Wanda and Mauro have also been seen kayaking.

WANDA/MAXI ROW

Icardi and Wanda returned to their Italian home, despite warnings not to leave France, and her ex-hubby Lopez was furious.

Speaking on his Instagram story, the 35-year-old who plays for Serie B side Crotone said: “I would like to know under what criteria you broke the quarantine during a global pandemic.

“The whole world has asked you not to leave and you exposed our kids to a trip to another country.

 Wanda Nara has enough space for her Mercedes G-Wagon

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Wanda Nara has enough space for her Mercedes G-WagonCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27

 The home features its own dock where Wanda Nara's kids love to swim from

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The home features its own dock where Wanda Nara’s kids love to swim fromCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Icardi often shares images sailing on Lake Como

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Icardi often shares images sailing on Lake ComoCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

 Both Wanda and Mauro love to go kayaking on the lake too

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Both Wanda and Mauro love to go kayaking on the lake tooCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Icardi is a dog lover and has a Neapolitan Mastiff

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Icardi is a dog lover and has a Neapolitan MastiffCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

“You moved to the epicentre of the contagion in Italy without even caring about the consequence??

“What is wrong with your head in these moments?

“The most sacred thing in the world right now is the health of our kids? I am outraged by you lack of awareness.

“If you can’t do it for yourselves, do it for them. Today you are the mother of five babies but it seems you don’t realise it.”

However, Wanda bit back.

She replied: “He accused me of bringing the children from Paris to Italy, the heart of the pandemic.

“But Maxi knows very well where we live: I am not in Como, but in a town near Como, where there are very few cases.

“In Paris, I had to leave the one I was renting, the contract expired.

“We also decided to return after consulting with the pediatrician and a first-line doctor.

“All players from PSG have gone to their countries. And now we are Italians, if something happens to me, I prefer that it happens to me here, at home.

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 Maxi Lopez was furious with Wanda Nara for taking their children to Italy during the coronavirus crisis

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Maxi Lopez was furious with Wanda Nara for taking their children to Italy during the coronavirus crisisCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Lopez felt Wanda was endangering their children by taking them to coronavirus-hit Italy from Paris

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Lopez felt Wanda was endangering their children by taking them to coronavirus-hit Italy from ParisCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 However, Wanda hit back revealing she and Icardi drove from Paris and consulted their doctor first

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However, Wanda hit back revealing she and Icardi drove from Paris and consulted their doctor firstCredit: Instagram

“My country is Italy, which gave me and gave us all the beautiful things we have.

“That’s why I want to stay here. I could also have taken a private flight to return to Argentina, instead, we took two cars from Paris, mine and Mauro’s, divided the children and did 750 kilometers, nine and a half hours of the trip, singing a billion songs non-stop.

“It was riskier to go to Argentina. Maxi, instead of being happy it’s about my intentions as a mother.”

PSG ‘terminate Icardi’s contract with immediate effect’ after agent reveals Inter loanee wants to return to Italy

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Jesse Lingard’s ex Jena Frumes shows Man Utd star what he’s missing after posting series of sexy bikini selfies

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JESSE LINGARD has been reminded what he is missing after his ex uploaded a string of saucy selfies.

The Manchester United midfielder was shown the red card by stunner Jena Frumes just under two years ago.

 Jena Frumes has killed her boredom with a couple of bikini selfies

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Jena Frumes has killed her boredom with a couple of bikini selfies

 Jesse Lingard's ex has left little to the imagination

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Jesse Lingard’s ex has left little to the imagination

Lingard, 27, was dumped after playing away from home and bedding a fan.

Now with plenty of time on her hands in isolation, 24-year-old model Jena has been taking to Instagram to show Lingard what he once had.

With 3.8million followers, she showed off her remarkable figure in a string of revealing bikini pictures.

In one she is standing in her front room leaving little to the imagination in pale blue underwear.

Lingard and American Frumes were together for 15 months after meeting on a pre-season tour of Los Angeles.

But The Sun revealed how their relationship came to an end following a fling with admin assistant Leonie Borek just hours after his team’s 1-2 derby defeat by Manchester City.

He invited her to his £3million Cheshire mansion where she found him eating Domino’s pizza and sipping Disaronno liqueur with Man United team-mate Marcus Rashford.

After Rashford and another pal left, Lingard romped with Leonie three times, including in a hot tub.

In October Jena was forced to deny claims that she was sleeping with Aston Villa ace Jack Grealish.

 The 24-year-old model dated Manchester United's Jesse Lingard for 15 months

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The 24-year-old model dated Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard for 15 months

 The pair broke up in 2018 and Lingard had a fling with a fan

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The pair broke up in 2018 and Lingard had a fling with a fan

 Instagram model Jena has 3.8million followers on the social network site

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Instagram model Jena has 3.8million followers on the social network site

 Jena leaves little to the imagination with her bikini snaps

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Jena leaves little to the imagination with her bikini snapsCredit: Instagram, @jenafrumes

 Jena broke up with Jesse after he played away from home

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Jena broke up with Jesse after he played away from home

Grealish tweeted a photograph of him cheek-to-cheek with Jena following a night out.

After one of her Twitter followers asked: “You not s***ging @JackGrealish1 then Jena?”

She was quick to reply: “Absolutely not, just friends.”

 Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish had posted a picture of him with model Jena Frumes

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Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish had posted a picture of him with model Jena FrumesCredit: Twitter

Jessie Lingard does crazy toilet roll ‘Stay at Home Challenge’

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Erling Haaland reveals Man Utd boss Solskjaer helped turn him into deadly finisher after shooting drills practice

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ERLING HAALAND has revealed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer helped turn him into the deadly finisher he is today thanks to some shooting practice early on in his career.

The on-fire Borussia Dortmund star, 19, rejected the chance to team up with his former Molde boss at Man Utd in January.

 Haaland has revealed shooting tips from Solskjaer helped him become a lethal finisher

Haaland has revealed shooting tips from Solskjaer helped him become a lethal finisher

But Haaland has admitted he owes his lethal touch in front of goal to Solskjaer thanks to some tips of the trade early in his blossoming career.

The former Red Bull Salzburg striker recalled one particular game – with his Molde side taking on Brann – where Solskjaer changed the course of his future with some top tips.

They immediately paid dividends, with Haaland scoring four times in the opening 20 minutes.

Speaking to Eurosport, Haaland revealed: “Before that game, Solskjaer and I did some practice on finishing.

“Not just crosses. I remember he taught me some easy rules.

“That was something he taught me in the days before that game.

“He has taught me a lot to be calm, and also be on your toes and come to those situation where the ball is coming.

“It is then you have the chance to score.

“He deserves a lot of credit for teaching me that.”


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Haaland has already scored an incredible 36 times in just 33 games this season – in stints at Salzburg and Dortmund.

But the Norwegian wasn’t always the goal threat he is now – linked with Real Madrid and Man Utd just to name a few.

Haaland failed to score in the two games leading up to his Brann outburst – and struggled in training.

Solskjaer persevered with the teenager, clearly seeing his talent as worth nurturing despite a difficult session leading up to the career-defining Brann game.

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The on-fire Dortmund forward recalled: “I remember it was frustrating as a young striker, everything goes against you in training.

“I was alone with the keeper and the bar, got crosses from Ole Gunnar [Solskjaer], but I missed on every opportunity.

“I remember Ole then said ‘I think you start this game, so just be ready’.”

Erling Haaland slams ‘comical’ wage demand rumours as Dortmund striker explains why he snubbed Solskjaer and Man Utd

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