Odion Ighalo has offered a passionate plea to the public to keep safe and refused to even think about his contract situation at Manchester United.
The 30-year-old striker, who has scored four goals in his first three starts for the club, is proving to be a shrewd signing by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when many questioned his arrival.
Ighalo though only signed a deal until the end of the season after arriving from Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day in the January transfer window, and he could quite feasibly never kick a ball for United again due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Solskjaer has publicly praised the forward in recent weeks and even hinted a longer term deal could be in the offing, but at the present domestic football is suspended until April 28 at the earliest and Ighalo’s contract only runs until June 30.
It is highly likely that all fixtures will be pushed back even further as government officials continue to try and contain the spread of the virus, meaning Ighalo’s six-month contract could expire before he has had the chance to earn a permanent transfer.
However, the ex-Nigeria international refused to speak about his own situation and instead placed emphasis on the safety of the population amid the Covid-19 disease.
“Talking about other things now will not only be selfish but terribly insensitive. I don’t even think about it,” Ighalo told The Sun when asked to comment on his contract situation.
“The challenge before us now is not a football one, but a global one.
“You can’t put football before health challenges. What matters right now is to keep safe and pray for those battling with the virus to recover fully.
“This is another reminder for us to share love in this world. Continue to show kindness to one another because a problem facing one is a problem to all.”
With United’s first-team training currently suspended, Ighalo is currently self-isolating at his home in Manchester while his family remain in London.
“We are all working individually away from the training ground and staying fit at home,” added the former Watford man.
“Of course I miss football, like other players and fans. But lives matter.
“Staying safe and alive is our biggest game in the world now – and we all have a role to play in it.
“Football has to take a back seat all over the planet at the moment and that is very understandable.
“Coronavirus is affecting all countries, across all continents. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this pandemic and to the families who have lost loved ones.
“But I know we will beat coronavirus and I urge people to remain positive.”