Odion Ighalo has learnt when he can link up with his Manchester United teammates again after he was banned from their Carrington training complex over Coronavirus fears.
The 30-year-old completed a surprise loan switch from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day, but did not head to Spain with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s group because of the coronavirus outbreak which has so far killed more than 1,000 people in mainland China.
And while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated that he hopes to name Ighalo in his squad to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, that plan was put in jeopardy after the Daily Mirror revealed he been had made to train away from the AON Complex at Carrington while he is in the 14-day incubation period.
Ighalo has not played a competitive match since December 6 and has been working on improving his fitness levels at the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester since arriving in England.
The Times states that United’s medical staff believed the chances of Ighalo having the virus were extremely remote, but were forced to take the precaution given the virus has so far killed over 1,350 people, while over 60,000 have been diagnosed with it in China alone.
However, it’s now been revealed that Ighalo can expect to link up with his new United teammates for the first time on Saturday when he will have completed the incubation phase and to work on tactics ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.
And Solskjaer has confirmed he will be part of the squad that travels down to London to take on Frank Lampard’s side.
“Yeah, he is going to travel with us,” the Norwegian said. “We will just see his fitness work this week and I think we will get him sharp.
“We want to integrate him as quickly as we can because, of course, he is desperate to play for us.”
The Nigeria international’s new team-mates, meanwhile, clearly benefitted from their Spanish training camp and having some much-needed downtime.
“I think the boys enjoyed a break – they needed a break,” Solskjaer said. “But now they are back, focused and they have been working well.
“With the weather back home as well, this has been an even bigger plus for us. Being in Europe, because the travel isn’t too far, is also a good point because we don’t have too many days before we have to go back and get ready for Chelsea.”
Solskjaer added: “It is a long season. Overall, during every season, every team has injuries and we have been hit badly this year and we have felt the lack of numbers.
“But when everyone is back, the competition for every place is big and hopefully we will have two games every week.
“We want to go through in the Europa League, we want to go through in the FA Cup and of course the league is important, so we need players to rotate with.”