Odion Ighalo, a former Manchester United striker from Nigeria, claims he quit Al Shabab after being refused a place in the AFCON, he told ESPN.

Ighalo recently switched from Saudi rivals Al Shabab to Asian champions Al Hilal, where he was instrumental in their fourth-place finish.

That height and ambition are part of what prompted the 32-year-old Nigerian to flee Al Shabab after the latter refused to release him so he could play for Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.

“I was not happy with them and we decided to part ways because the Nations Cup that I didn’t go to caused a lot of bad blood,” Ighalo said.

The club was meant to provide him an exit permit to allow him to travel to Cameroon, but did not, according to the forward.

He said: “Four hours until my flight [to Cameroon], they had not sent me the exit visa. I called the team manager, and he told me they did not get an invitation. But I had a copy of the invitation that was sent because they copied me in the email.

“We had all this back and forth going on, I changed the ticket to the next day, and then the third day, and they still did not send me the visa. At that point I knew they did not want me to go.

“My anger was that they should have told me straight up, not smiling in my face one day and then acting a different way. That is why I decided to leave.”

The attacker says he wants to help Al Hilal continue their title-winning record now that he has joined the club.

“They won the last two league titles, they won the last two Asian Champions League, the League and the Cup.

“It’s up to me to join the guys and keep winning trophies.”