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Man Utd faces battle to keep Odion Ighalo

Manchester United are facing a battle to keep former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo till the end of the English Premier League season the date of which remains unclear amid the coronavirus pandemic, the SportsBay.com reports.

Ighalo who is on loan from Chinese top club, Shanghai Shenhua, expects him back for the start of the new Chinese Super League season, which is scheduled to begin in July.

As it stands, Shanghai Shenhua will only allow Ighalo to remain at Old Trafford if it is on a permanent deal and the Chinese club value him upwards of £20m.

It is thought Newcastle United would be interested in Ighalo if their proposed takeover is completed this summer according to Skysport.

Ighalo revealed last month there is “no offer on the table yet” from Manchester United over extending his stay at the club beyond his current loan spell, despite manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinting that a deal could be made.

The Nigerian striker made an encouraging start to life at Manchester United following his surprise Deadline Day move, scoring four times in eight appearances prior to the suspension of the Premier League.

It was revealed in March that Ighalo had been offered a two-year contract extension by parent club Shanghai worth £400,000 a week.

Ighalo’s current contract expires in December 2022, but Shanghai want to keep him until at least December 2024.

This season’s loan deals expire on June 30 and, if the Premier League resumes, the potential for games to spill over into July could cause issues for some 163 footballers contracted to top-flight clubs.

Meanwhile, Manchester United only signed Ighalo on loan because of Marcus Rashford’s back injury in January, it has been claimed.

The Nigeria international has been a big hit at Old Trafford so far, scoring four goals from eight games. But he may return to parent club Shanghai Shenhua after they slapped a £20million price tag on his head.

Manchester United saw Rashford suffer a serious back injury in January, one that has kept him off the pitch in the time since.

And the Daily Mail say Old Trafford sources claim it was that setback which prompted the club into going for Ighalo in the first place.

At the time, United were condemned for their decision to sign the Nigeria international from Shanghai Shemhua.

Many thought it was a sign of the club’s current stature that they’d turned to the 30-year-old having initially sought the signing of wonderkid Erling Haaland.

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