May 28, 2020
Manchester United on loan striker, Odion Ighalo will be allowed to complete the 2019/20 season at the Old Trafford club on the condition that he signs a new contract with Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, according to reports. The Nigerian is still reportedly training at United’s Carrington training ground and due to leave this weekend.
Ighalo, 30, has a contract at the Chinese club which would keep him at the Hongkou Stadium until December 2022 and they have previously offered him a new contract, worth £400,000 per week if he accepts. In January, the Nigerian completed a six-month loan deal with United, finishing the season at his boyhood club.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football in mid-March, he was only able to make eight appearances, scoring four goals and one assist in that time. He is due to be back in China this weekend, however, United seem willing to keep him at the club with Ighalo keen to end the season with United.
Sky Sports had previously reported that the Chinese club were only happy to extend the players loan spell until the end of the rescheduled season is an obligation for a permanent £20 million move was added, however, with United seeking Ighalo as a short term option, it was never going to work out.
It would seem that the stance has softened, presumably,ably because of the coronavirus-enforced border restrictions in China, which would stop the player from returning to the country. Perhaps a bit of thought should have been in place in China if this is true. United will have Marcus Rashford back from injury, so there is less pressure.
Having Ighalo at the club to finish the season would be fair, especially if he is not allowed to return to China because of border restrictions. There is a chance that Ighalo could help United attain a top four finish in the league and help them in the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, which could see the player add Chinese FA Cup medal.