With Premier League cleared to resume in June, Manchester United are hoping to make a final push in order to secure a UEFA Champions League spot next season. This might not be an easy task, however, as the club recently encountered challenges attempting to keep forward Odion Ighalo on their roster until the end of the season.
Ighalo joined Man Utd on loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in January, and his loan contract expires on May 31st. Since the season was prolonged due to coronavirus pandemic, United is now attempting to extend the deal, but that is proving to be rather difficult according to ESPN.
Reportedly, Ighalo’s parent club isn’t keen on letting the player stay longer as they want to have him back in time for the start of the Chinese Super League in July. They would be interested in allowing Ighalo to leave on a permanent basis, but are asking a steep price of around $25 million.
Premier League giants are expected to make another offer, increasing the loan fee. If that bid is also rejected, they are ready to move on as the permanent move remains unlikely despite the player’s productivity.
Facing depth issues up front in January, Man Utd tried to bring in several strikers before settling on Ighalo. Despite being labeled as “desperate move” at the time, the 30-year-old Nigerian shined in United’s jersey and scored four goals in eight matches.
This is Ighalo’s second stint in England, as he previously also played with Watford between 2014 and 2017. In 99 matches with the club, he scored 39 goals.