The Nigerian hitman swapped Watford for a life-changing £190,000-a-week move to the Far East.
Ighalo actually wanted to stay in the Premier League — with West Brom making an offer, while Crystal Palace also showed an interest.
But they were both blown out of the water by Changchun Yatai, who splashed £20m on the striker — plus his eye-watering £10m annual salary.
With clubs at liberty to do business with the highest bidder, Ighalo understood he had no option if he wanted a move — even though he had to Google his new club to find out who they were.
He said, “When the options came, my priority was to stay in England. West Brom came but what Watford wanted made it impossible to go there.
Crystal Palace, too, showed strong interest but Watford’s demands put them off as well.
“It was only China that could give them what they wanted. I understand football is business, they sell and buy to make profit.
“On a personal level, it is good money for me but if I had my way I would love to stay in the Premier League.
“I have my family here, the kids are in school here, they have their friends here and getting that stability is never easy when you keep moving your family. But what can we do? Life goes on.”
Life goes on for Ighalo, 27, at his new club at Changchun, in the Jilin Province, north-east China.
He said, “I wanted to stay and play in the Premier League, I believed I still had more to offer.
“The money then was much more than this, even triple what I will be getting now.
“I was not interested but this season I wasn’t playing regularly, which is frustrating because, at 27, I want to play every weekend.”
Ighalo puts his poor form down to a number of factors, including the passing of his father last year.
Dropping out of the first team made him desperate for regular football again.
And he makes no apology for pocketing the bundles of cash on offer from the CSL in a league branded uncompetitive.
He said, “The truth is, once I got the words from the club and my agent that a deal was on, I had to check online by Googling the club and the city of Changchun.”