Manchester United are closing in on an extended deal for on-loan striker Odion Ighalo.
The 30-year-old Nigerian striker’s deal was set to expire at the end of May, which would have been the originally planned finish to the Premier League and UEFA season. United may have had to contest the Europa Cup final, and the Premier League is due to restart in June, allowing for UEFA competitions to be completed in August. That assumes that coronavirus does not sink the various competitions across Europe.
There had been speculation that Ighalo would return to the Chinese Super League, which was itself suspended due to the original coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan at the end of 2019. With their season now set to get up and running Shanghai Shenhua had expected Ighalo to return, and was reportedly offered a new deal worth £400,000 a week.
However, talks have been ongoing between United and Shenhua about extending Ighalo’s deal, which comes as a surprise because the Chinese side were said to be reluctant to extend any loan arrangement and instead wanted a permanent transfer. Newcastle United were also rumoured to be keen on a £20 million deal.
However, Ighalo’s agent Atta Aneke told Nettavisien in Norway: We are nearing agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan.
“The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.”
The deal would see United well stocked for forwards until the next winter transfer window, with Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Ighalo all options in attack. That would give the club the chance to focus on other positions in the summer transfer window, with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho said to be the priority.