Ighalo in transfer dilemma


The forward has been impressing at Old Trafford but with the Premier League postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis, his future is up in the air

Odion Ighalo’s long-term Manchester United future is up in the air with his loan deal set to end on May 31.

The forward arrived from China in the January transfer window on a temporary move until the end of the season and has been acting as cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.

The 30-year-old has impressed at Old Trafford after scoring four goals in three starts and the lifelong United fan is loving life at the club.

Sources close to the player have indicated that the Nigerian would be open to making his loan deal permanent, should the club want to keep him, but the Covid-19 situation has complicated matters.

With the Coronavirus pandemic leading to the postponement of the season,  and it being unclear what is happening with regards to the transfer window, plans for Ighalo’s future are up in the air with no agreement currently reached between the parties in these unprecedented circumstances.

The contract, which was agreed with the player and his parent club Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day, was enough to see Ighalo stay until the end of the season and past a potential Europa League final.

However, it is now likely United would have to ask for special permission for an extension to his deal with the 2019-20 campaign, if it resumes, likely to run past the end of May.

The former Watford striker was initially brought in as cover for Rashford but after impressing in his opening eight games, Solskjaer admitted earlier this month that the club would consider making the move permanent.

“We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who know? He’s come in as a breath of fresh air as well,” the Norwegian told Sky Sports .

“He had chances in his five minutes against Chelsea, he scored against Bruges, he had chances against Watford, he had a very good save [from a shot] against Everton – there have been good saves, he doesn’t miss the target very often.

“Even for Anthony (Martial), Mason (Greenwood) and Marcus to learn that it is where the sharks are swimming. It’s comfortable outside the box and you can have a few shots.

“It’s in there where it might be a bit tougher and you might get hurt – that’s where you get goals.”

The 30-year-old refused to be drawn on his future last week when he was asked by The Sun   about potentially staying at Old Trafford.

He said: “Talking about other things now will not only be selfish but terribly insensitive. I don’t even think about it. The challenge before us now is not a football one, but a global one.

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