REPORT: Manchester United Struggling to Extend Odion Ighalo Stay

Odion Ighalo
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Odion Ighalo of Manchester United celebrates at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 8, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Former Watford striker Odion Ighalo joined Manchester United on loan from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in January. Ighalo signed a short-term deal that will expire on May 31. United expected the season to have ended by the time that date came around. However, unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has interrupted the season, which remains far from over.

Manchester United Struggling to Extend Odion Ighalo Stay

Keen for Loan Extension

With nine Premier League games to go and everything to play for, the Red Devils want to keep Ighalo as an option to strengthen them in the challenges they face.

United have attempted to extend the Nigerian striker’s stay by three months, as reported by Chris Wheeler of Mail Sport.

Shanghai Shenhua, however, find themselves in a similar situation. The Chinese Super League’s start has been delayed. The season usually gets underway in February or March and comes to a conclusion in November or December. They are yet to get going and Shenhua have seen an opportunity to have their star striker back in time to help them this campaign.

Time Running Out

Ighalo’s loan deal expires in one week. United are running out of time to extend his stay and cannot sign him permanently until the start of the next transfer window. The summer window is now expected to be held from August to October. By then, it’s clear that all intentions are to have finished the season.

United are relaxed about the situation and Marcus Rashford’s return to training will have helped calm any fears about a lack of goals in the team, especially if Ighalo is to return to China.

Mutual Desire

It’s reported that Ighalo is also keen to conclude the season with United. Despite having failed to score a Premier League goal in a red shirt so far, Ighalo has scored four goals in eight appearances during the spell and is popular among the United faithful.

Though Shanghai Shenhua do not share that desire, they have offered Ighalo a £400,000-a-week two-year contract extension and obviously see him as part of their future plans.

Maybe there’s still time for United to secure an extension, though this report is rather underwhelming for that cause.


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