Man United close to Ighalo loan extension agreement

Shaving it thin with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in recent times, Manchester United are said to be close to finally agreeing on a loan extension for Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo.

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The English club remains in talks with the striker’s parent club and it is hoped a deal can be agreed before his current loan deal expires at midnight on Sunday. A report by Sky Sports News said the proposed loan extension will run until the end of January before Ighalo returns to Shanghai. If agreed, Ighalo will miss the majority of the 2020 Chinese Super League season, which is scheduled to begin in June.

Manchester United are close to agreeing on a loan deal extension for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo (Image: Sourced).

Per previous report, Shanghai would only consider agreeing to extend his loan if an obligation to buy was incorporated into the deal, with Ighalo likely to cost upwards of £20m. However, with border restrictions potentially preventing Ighalo from returning to China in time for the new season, Shenhua have resolved to level the playing field by now allowing him to extend his stay at Old Trafford on condition a new contract is signed.

Ighalo’s current contract at Shanghai expires in December 2022, but Shanghai wants to keep him until at least December 2024, with Sky Sports revealing in March that Ighalo had been offered a two-year contract extension worth £400 000 a week. Ighalo initially joined United in a Deadline Day move in January, en route to bagging four goals in eight appearances prior to the suspension of the Premier League due to the coronavirus.

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Shenhua have resolved to level the playing field by now allowing Odion Ighalo to extend his stay at Old Trafford on condition a new contract is signed (Images: Getty Images).

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful the club can extend Ighalo’s 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 Man United TV earlier this week. “We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.”

Solskjaer added: “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.”