Odion Ighalo’s future is hanging in the balance as Manchester United are yet to make an acceptable offer to Shanghai Shenhua for the Nigerian striker.
However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful the club can extend his loan spell so he can “finish off what he started”. Ighalo’s current loan spell is due to expire next Sunday, and United remain in talks to extend his stay at Old Trafford.
Shenhua will only agree to a permanent deal or an extension to his loan that incorporates an obligation to buy
Ighalo would be likely to cost upwards of £20m, according to Sky Sports. But Solskjaer still has belief an arrangement can be found to allow Ighalo to complete the season with United.
“The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back,” Solskjaer told MUTV. “We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.
“It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. “At the moment, nothing has been agreed. “Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.” Shenhua expect Ighalo back Shenhua expect Ighalo to have returned in time for the resumption of the Chinese Super League season, expected to be at the end of June or beginning of July.
But, as things stand, Ighalo cannot go back because China’s borders are closed. On March 28, China suspended entry into the country of foreign nationals. The measure has left about a third of foreign players in the Chinese Super League locked out.
Chinese media reported on Tuesday that the ban on foreign entry may stay in place until October. In March, Sky Sports News reported Shenhua had offered Ighalo a new four-year contract worth £400,000 per week. His current deal expires in December 2022.
Ighalo at Manchester United The Nigerian striker made an impact for United following his surprise Deadline Day move, scoring four times in eight appearances prior to the suspension of the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called him “vital” for United as they dealt with Marcus Rashford’s prolonged absence due to a back injury.
Ighalo’s impact was both instant and impressive, and in the space of six short weeks, there was only one person laughing. In 31 minutes of Premier League football for the club, the Nigerian demonstrated a willingness to adopt that focal point at the head of the United attack, something the club has yearned for since Romelu Lukaku’s exit last summer.
Ighalo was so successful in showing United what they were missing that a permanent move to Old Trafford looked on the cards before the league was suspended as a result of coronavirus’ spread.