Former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo has reiterated his desire to reject Shanghai Shenhua’s is £80 million (N37bn) new contract to remain at Manchester United for the rest of his career, The SportsBay.com reports.
Ighalo who has spent lockdown in his home city of Lagos, where he has been put through his paces and playing small-sided games does not know where he will play football next, with his Manchester United loan deal due to expire on May 31.
The striker’s future is an uncertain one: he is officially on loan at United until May 31, but the Red Devils are keen to extend this period to allow him to feature if and when the season resumes in the coming weeks.
However, Igahlo’s parent club, Shanghai Shenhua, wants the player to return for the start of the next Chinese Super League season who offered him an astounding £400,000 (N187m) per week, before tax. United is also not seeking a permanent deal for the former Super Eagles spearhead.
However, Ighalo’s has remained focused on keeping himself fit and ready for action while under lockdown in Lagos according to his personal trainer, Ekemini Ekerette.
“He’s a wonderful athlete, I’ve never seen someone more passionate about his job than him,” he said.
“I think he’s in excellent physical condition. He loves the game. He just wants to train. Even if the league wasn’t going to be played in the next three months he would keep training every day. He is so disciplined.
“His future was not making a difference to his intensity in training. He is just always focused on making sure he’s doing what he needs to do and then pushing himself even further.
“He’s a team player and has been talking about [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial, [Mason] Greenwood, and how fantastic they all are, so he’s looking forward to, hopefully, getting to play with Rashford,” he said.
Ighalo has impressed since arriving on the final day of the January transfer window, scoring four goals in three starts while his passion and desire have been praised by those around him.
When the United Kingdom went into lockdown in March, a number of the United first-team squad were given permission to fly home to isolate with their families, and Ighalo decided to travel back to his hometown of Lagos.
The club provided each player with a fitness programme and have been regularly checking in on the squad during the lockdown period to ensure they are doing well both mentally and physically.