Odion Ighalo Makes Personal Request to Extend Manchester United Loan
Odion Ighalo has made a personal plea to Shanghai Shenhua to let him finish the season at Manchester United before returning to China.
The striker’s loan deal at Old Trafford expires on Sunday and so far talks to extend it between United and the Chinese Super League side have failed to provide a resolution.
But boyhood United fan Ighalo is desperate to finish the season with the club, having made a positive impact in his eight appearances to date, and he’s asked Shanghai Shenhua to allow him to stay put until United’s campaign is completed, with the former Watford striker aware this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the club that means so much to him.
Confidence is growing in Ighalo’s camp that a deal to extend the loan may yet be struck before Sunday’s expiry, with talks described as “much more positive” than they had been.
While Shanghai Shenhua would prefer to sell Ighalo on a permanent deal if they to allow the 30-year-old to stay at United, United have made it clear they are not interested in a transfer.
Instead Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to extend the existing loan arrangement. Ighalo signed a four-month loan deal on the final day of the transfer window and the original terms would have taken the Nigerian until the end of United’s season.
But with the campaign on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Ighalo’s scheduled return now comes with nine Premier League games left to play, while United are still in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Ighalo has made a valuable contribution to United, scoring four times in eight appearances, three of which have been starts. While Solskjaer is “relaxed” about the possibility of losing the striker thanks to Marcus Rashford’s return to fitness, he would prefer to keep hold of him for the run-in.
With the CSL season edging closer to a start date, with the end of June or start of July mentioned as potential targets, Shanghai Shenhua had been keen to get Ighalo back, but the striker’s camp are hoping that his personal request to his CSL employees to be allowed to complete the season at a club where he is loving the experience of playing could have an impact on his short-term future.
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