May 31, 2020
Manchester United have reportedly agreed a loan extension for Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo with the player apparently remaining at the Old Trafford club until the end of January 2021. It was expected that the striker would leave Manchester today, which was the end date for his loan spell which was agreed back in January.
Parent club, Shanghai Shenhua reportedly wanted the player back in China to prepare to start the Chinese Super League, which had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football in mid-March. However, United were keen to keep the player for the remainder of the season.
The Chinese club were initially reluctant to allow the Nigerian to stay will United past today and were demanding a £20 million fee for a permanent transfer. Then it was reported that if the player signed a new contract with the Chinese club, they would allow him to finish the season at United. However, United seem to have gone one better.
Reports indicate that United agreed to pay a revised loan fee, which is not yet known, getting the deal across the line before the expiry of his temporary contract with the Old Trafford club. The Nigerian’s agent Atta Aneke hinted on Norwegian outlet Nettavisien that a deal was close earlier on Sunday morning, saying:
“We are nearing agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan.
“The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.”
United have been in talks with the Chinese club for many days and the Daily Mail had reported that the fee for the extension that United were prepared to pay was the sticking point in the deal. That seems to have been addressed, seemingly with a positive outcome for United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy to keep his squad together.
Not only for the remainder of this season, the Nigerian will spend most of next season at United, meaning the club have bought themselves some extra time in their hunt for a new striker, seemingly not having to do a deal this summer, giving them until January to sort something out, which will be good for the club in the new financial climate in football.