Odion Ighalo future uncertain as Man Utd loan deal expires on May 31

By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer
PA Media: Sport

Manchester United face a potential headache as Odion Ighalo’s loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua only runs until the end of May.

With the Chinese Super League postponed as the country attempted to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak that originated in Wuhan, the 30-year-old was allowed to make a shock deadline-day move to Old Trafford in January.

Ighalo underwent a 14-day quarantine period before linking up with United, who are unlikely to be playing anytime soon as the coronavirus pandemic has seen Premier League action suspended until at least the end of April.

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Few expect play to resume then and plans are afoot to extend the 2019-20 season, although whether the Nigeria international will be able to be a part of it remains to be seen.

Odion Ighalo has quickly ingratiated himself to the Manchester United fanbase (Martin Rickett/PA)
Odion Ighalo has quickly ingratiated himself to the Manchester United fanbase (Martin Rickett/PA)

The PA news agency understands Ighalo’s loan deal expires on May 31.

United reportedly hold the option to make the move permanent, but the transfer windows and player contract situation remains up in the air as FIFA look at solutions.

Ighalo has certainly impressed the club with his attitude and aptitude since making the loan switch.

The former Watford striker has scored four goals in three starts for the club he supported as a boy, including a stunning opener in the Europa League last-16 first leg at LASK the day before football was suspended.

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United women’s team manager Casey Stoney have sent a plea to supporters as the world deals with coronavirus.

“These are unprecedented times and we now need to all come together to combat this global pandemic,” the pair wrote in a message to fans.

“It is important for everyone to follow government guidelines to help control the spread of Covid-19, wherever you are in the world.

“That’s what we’re doing at Manchester United, with all our players now training at home, following individual programmes and using technology to stay in touch with our medical, fitness and coaching staff.”

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