Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that there is every chance Odion Ighalo’s move to Old Trafford can be made permanent if the striker impresses.
Ighalo has between now and the end of the season to stamp his mark on Solskjaer’s squad, having been brought in on loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on deadline day last month.
The Nigerian has suffered a turbulent couple of weeks since his arrival, though, after coronavirus concerns prevented him from travelling to United’s training camp in Marbella before he was banned from training with his teammates while in an incubation period.
Ighalo is set to travel down to London with United for the Premier League clash with Chelsea on Monday night, but Solskjaer said he was unsure if the forward will be involved at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking generally about his hopes for the striker, Solskjaer backed Ighalo to make an impression before his time at Old Trafford comes to an end.
“It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door, and if you impress, it gives you a chance. That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs,” Solskjaer said.
“If it’s permanent, or if it’s a loan, if you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, of course there’s a chance we’ll look at extending things and signing.
“That doesn’t just go for Odion but, since you asked, yes, his incentive is to play as well as he can and it’s up to us to make sure he wants to stay, if we want him.”
United head into Monday’s game six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the table.
Blues boss Frank Lampard has insisted, however, that a nine-point gap with victory over the Red Devils will not be enough to dent their rivals’ top-four hopes.