Former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has signed for reigning Asian champions Al Hilal, the Saudi Arabian club said on Sunday. The Nigeria international, who spent a year on loan at Old Trafford from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, has signed an 18-month contract with the Riyadh-based club after a 12-month stint at Saudi rivals Al Shabab. The 32-year-old is currently the Saudi Professional League’s joint top scorer, with 12 goals alongside Al Nassr’s Anderson Talisca. Ighalo replaces former France international forward Bafetimbi Gomis, who left Al Hilal last week after helping the club win the Asian Champions League in both 2019 and 2021. Defending champions Al Hilal have been handed the opportunity to avenge a shock loss at the hands of Tajikistan’s Istiklol in last year’s competition after the pair were drawn together in the group phase. Istiklol, making their debut appearance in the competition, thrashed the Saudi side 4-1 in the group stages in Riyadh last year, and finished ahead of their more illustrious opponents to qualify for the knockout rounds. Al Hilal advanced to the last 16 as one of the three best runners-up in the west Asian side of the draw, and put the defeat behind them by going on to beat South Korea’s Pohang Steelers in the final to become the first four-time Asian club champions. The pair have been drawn in Group A of this year’s Champions League alongside Qatar’s Al Rayyan and a playoff winner.