Super Eagles interim head coach Austine Eguavoen remains confident Odion Ighalo will join up with the team for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations despite the refusal of his Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab to release him.
Al Shabab signed Ighalo from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in February 2021 with an agreement that Ighalo will not play international football again.
Ighalo announced his retirement from the Super Eagles after the 2019 AFCON in Egypt where he finished as top scorer
Various reports have even suggested that several players have been placed on standby to replace the former Manchester United ace.
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“Hopefully Odion comes,” Eguavoen said during his interaction with the media on Tuesday.
The experienced striker is widely expected to lead the Eagles attack in the absence of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.
Ighalo is the leading scorer in the Saudi Arabia Professional League with 11 goals.
He made his international comeback in the Eagles World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde in Lagos in November.