Odion Ighalo: Shanghai Shenhua open to Manchester United keeping striker until January

Ighalo's deal currently ends on Sunday

ighalo
Image: Ighalo has scored four goals in eight games for United

Shanghai Shenhua are open to allowing Odion Ighalo to remain at Manchester United until January.

United remain in talks with the Chinese club about extending Ighalo's loan which currently ends on Sunday.

Border restrictions may prevent Ighalo from returning to China in time for the start of the new season in June. If he can't return, the club will look to bring in a temporary replacement.

Shanghai Shenhua's original stance was that they would only agree to extend his loan if an obligation to buy was incorporated into the deal. Ighalo would be likely to cost upwards of £20m.

Ole Ighalo
Image: Solskjaer has remained positive a deal can be done to keep Ighalo at Old Trafford

It is now thought Shanghai Shenhua will expect Ighalo to sign a new contract with them as a condition of him being allowed to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

Ighalo's current deal in China is up in December 2022. The offer on the table is worth £400,000 a week and would run until December 2024.

The striker joined United in the January window and scored four goals in eight games before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Solskjaer's Ighalo hope

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Odion Ighalo's future is 'coming to a head' says Dharmesh Sheth

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful the club can extend his loan spell so he can "finish off what he started".

"The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he's supposed to be going back," Solskjaer told MUTV.

"We're in dialogue. They've been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.

"It's been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we're just waiting to see."

Analysis: Ighalo proved his worth at Man Utd

Sky Sports' Jack Wilkinson:

'When Ighalo joined Manchester United on the final day of the January transfer window, social media was awash with disparaging comments, aimed at both the club and their latest recruit. A sign of the times, perhaps, but on this occasion, there appeared to be reason behind the unrest.

'Bruno Fernandes' big-money arrival in Manchester the previous day elevated expectations to such a level that signing a striker - offloaded by Watford in 2017 - from the Chinese Super League left an understandable sense of anti-climax.

'Critics jumped at the chance to highlight the perceived desperation behind another questionable piece of transfer business, but as the jokes circulated on Twitter, Ighalo quietly went about fulfilling his boyhood dream to play for Manchester United.

'His impact was both instant and impressive, and in the space of six short weeks there was only one person laughing. In 31 minutes of Premier League football for the club, the Nigerian demonstrated a willingness to adopt that focal point at the head of the United attack, something the club has yearned for since Romelu Lukaku's exit last summer.'

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