While some outlets suggest that Manchester United will seek to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan deal over the coming months, others claim that those in charge at Old Trafford have already come to the decision to purchase the attacker outright.
The surprise transfer of the winter window came to fruition on deadline day at the end of January.
The signing came for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United, in the form of former Watford striker Odion Ighalo.
Just 24 hours after the Red Devils confirmed the high-profile addition of Bruno Fernandes, Ighalo followed suit, with the Nigerian having put pen-to-paper on a 6-month loan deal in Manchester:
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Ighalo was brought to Old Trafford to add some much-needed depth to United’s front-line, on the back of the long-term injury picked up by Marcus Rashford early in January.
The African’s signing, though, was nevertheless viewed by many as a panic-buy upon his arrival at Old Trafford in January.
Such concerns, however, have been firmly put to bed over the weeks since.
Ighalo has, to this point, found the back of the net 4 times in just 3 starts in the colours of United.
The latest of these goals came two weeks ago, when, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak bringing football across Europe to a halt, a moment of brilliance on the part of the 30-year-old saw him open the scoring in the Red Devils’ Europa League drubbing of LASK:
WHAT A GOAL! 😱
Odion Igalho has done it again as he gives Man Utd the lead with an absolute beauty 🔥
Solskjaer’s reaction says it all! pic.twitter.com/JisDmPsJDh
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 12, 2020
Permanent Man United stay?
As outlined above, however, confusion as to exactly what United’s plans entail when it comes to Ighalo’s future have surfaced online today.
This comes with the coronavirus pandemic having thrown contracts across world football into doubt.
The Premier League this past weekend revealed their intention to resume play on the 30th of April, 4 weeks after the originally-planned return date of April 3rd.
This could yet see the campaign, which is likely to take some time before returning to normality, stretch into June or even July.
This poses a problem for both Manchester United and Ighalo, with it having been confirmed that the Nigerian’s loan spell is actually due to come to an end on May 31st.
The Telegraph, though, today reported that Ed Woodward and co. will attempt to extend the club’s temporary deal for Ighalo beyond this date, to ensure that his services can be retained for the final weeks of the season.
Manchester United look to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan deal, which is due to expire at the end of May https://t.co/b7HmjsKtZZ
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) March 24, 2020
The Daily Mail, however, have followed up with the suggestion that the Red Devils are in fact ready to take their interest in extending Ighalo’s stay a step further.
It is claimed that officials at Old Trafford have already come to the decision to make the 30-year-old’s arrival permanent.
As such, negotiations with Shanghai Shenhua will soon get underway, during which United will table a £15 million bid.