Lifelong Manchester United supporter Odion Ighalo could leave the club at the end of May as talks over the extension of his loan deal at Old Trafford continues to stall. His parent club Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League and the Red Devils have not been able to reach an agreement over an extension for the ex-Super Eagles attacker.
Ighalo was handed a remarkable opportunity to fulfil his dream of playing for boyhood club Manchester United in January 2020 when the Red Devils secured a four-month loan deal for him from Shanghai Shenhua. He was seen as the short-term replacement for star forward Marcus Rashford who had a long-term injury as at then.
His loan transfer to Manchester United was heavily criticised by fans and stakeholders but the player was able to silence his doubters with impressive performances on the pitch before Coronavirus struck and caused football to be suspended. Odion Ighalo scored four goals in just three starts for his new club including a memorable strike in the 5-0 away win at LASK Linz of Austria in the first leg, Europa League round of 16 clash.
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Football was suspended in March until recently when leagues like the German Bundesliga and the Korean league resumed activities once again. The Premier League is also preparing to resume football as from next month and that could be without Ighalo.
His Chinese club wants him back as they prepare for the resumption of the Super League. Shanghai Shenhua are open to a permanent deal for the player but Manchester United prefer a loan extension till the present season ends. On his own part, Ighalo’s preference is to continue to play for his dream club either on loan or permanently.
Manchester United are reluctant to negotiate a permanent deal for 30-year-old Ighalo with the club keen to sign a younger striker this summer. The situation is likely to end with Ighalo’s exit from Manchester United on May 30. What will the club miss if he leaves.
1. Goals – Odion Ighalo has been very prolific in his short time at the club and his goals would certainly be missed.
2. Plan B – The Nigerian striker was seen as a Plan B when he signed for the Red Devils on loan and the club will definitely miss that. No other Manchester United attacker has the aerial prowess that Odion Ighalo offers.