Manchester United fully intend to sign Odion Ighalo this summer and have made the Nigerian loanee their No 1 priority when it comes to recruiting a new striker, claims a transfer expert.
Ighalo, who moved to United on loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on deadline day in January, has hit the ground running with four goals in eight appearances.
Indeed, the Nigerian’s strikes helped the Red Devils progress in the Europa League and FA Cup before the season was brought to a halt last month.
And while the 30-year-old has released an interview stating his hapiness with life at Old Trafford, it’s been claimed he could reject the deal due to a combination of reasons, with one report even citing that a lack of appreciation at Old Trafford could see him join a direct rival.
However, were the former Watford man to secure a permanent return to the Premier League, it is only likely going to be at Old Trafford.
And while his signing remains a signing for United – that of course after they’ve spent a vast fortune on Jadon Sancho, whose character has been assassinated on Wednesday – there remains something of an issue in their hopes of making Ighalo’s stay more permanent.
“Manchester United have been very impressed and pleased with the progress that Mason Greenwood has made this season,” Sky Sports reporter, Dharmesh Sheth.
“But they do remain in the market for a striker, and the one that they want is a player that is already in their squad, Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua of course.
“Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is very impressed with the impact that Ighalo has made this season and sees Ighalo as a man of experience who can help some of the younger players, including Mason Greenwood.
“However, this deal is not as easy as it sounds. That’s because Shanghai Shenhua have offered Ighalo a new contract worth around £400,000-a-week. That’s simply a wage that Manchester United would not pay.”
Ighalo on Man Utd future
Ighalo has now confirmed that he has not yet made a decision about his future, in one of his most open and revealing interviews since joining United.
“There is no offer on the table yet,” Ighalo told Elegbete TV.
“Because the season is still on and I’m yet to finish my loan deal. I don’t just take decisions alone in my life. I have a principle and I have a guideline for everything I do. I always pray to God to direct me.
“I have seen so many tweets about this. I have seen so many people going crazy, [saying] ‘go back to China’, some say ‘stay with Man United’.
“Have you seen me say a word? I don’t have anything to say. When the season’s finished and I get two offers from the two teams, then I will sit and think about it, pray about it and whatever God says I should do, I will go with that.
“I don’t just sit down and take decisions, and I don’t get carried away with whatever people say. I came to Manchester United to play for a pay cut because I wanted to. So anything could happen, but I want the season to finish and my loan to finish. Then I will see everything I have.
“You don’t just rush and do things: ‘I’m going here, I’m going here’. I have to sit down and finish the season well, sit down with my agent, see what’s on the ground: A, B, C, D, is on the ground. Okay we have to pick.”