Dimitar Berbatov does not believe Odion Ighalo will stay at Manchester United if they sign Harry Kane or Jadon Sancho – but says it would “make sense” for them to keep the former Watford man.
Ighalo was a surprise addition at Old Trafford in January when he joined on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, a signing that could certainly be described as underwhelming following months of links with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Braut Haaland.
So far, though, Ighalo has proven his doubters wrong by scoring four goals in his last three starts, even if they have all come in cup competitions.
His form has definitely been good enough for United to consider a permanent transfer, but with the club tipped to take advantage of Harry Kane’s hesitancy to commit to a long-term future at Tottenham Hotspur, Ighalo may be pushed down the agenda.
“If Ighalo continues how he has done so far, scoring goals and helping the team, then I think he should be given another contract, but saying that you need to weigh up the situation,” former United striker Berbatov told Goal.
“Sancho and Kane are two names being talked up with moves to the club at the moment, so you need to calculate what direction the club wants to go.
“Do they want to buy new strikers? If they do it would seem strange to keep Ighalo. With the current situation, I can’t see them spending too much and I think it would make sense for Ighalo to stay.
“It wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep him around, I think Solskjaer needs to give him his honest thoughts.
“At the moment I think he has more of a back-up striker role to Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford, I think he knows that and you can see he appreciates it because when he gets a chance he does his job, which is great.
“If he is going to stay, they will all start on an equal footing and if you train well and you score goals, you will play. I don’t think he will just want to be a back-up striker, nobody wants that, you want to play from the start.”