United ready to sign Ighalo for £15m

Pretoria News - - SPORTS - | Daily Mail

MANCH­ESTER United are ready to sign Odion Ighalo for up to £15mil­lion dur­ing the close sea­son af­ter it emerged the Nige­rian striker’s loan runs out on May 31.

Sports­mail can re­veal Ighalo’s tem­po­rary move from Shang­hai Shen­hua is set to end a month ear­lier than most loan deals. United may have to ne­go­ti­ate an ex­ten­sion with the Chi­nese club if the Premier League sea­son – on hold un­til the end of April – con­tin­ues into June, al­though world play­ers’ union FIFPro is work­ing on a so­lu­tion to the con­tract un­cer­tainty caused by the coro­n­avirus cri­sis.

Either way, there is al­ready a will­ing­ness at Old Traf­ford to sign Ighalo per­ma­nently af­ter the for­mer Wat­ford striker scored four goals in his first eight matches. Shang­hai are pre­pared to sell Ighalo and have put a £15m val­u­a­tion on the player, who will be 31 in June. They did not ask for a loan fee in Jan­uary be­cause United agreed to con­trib­ute £130 000 a week to­wards Ighalo’s wages of £300 000 a week.

Ighalo was ini­tially seen as a stop­gap sign­ing af­ter United failed with a bid to bring in Bournemout­h’s Josh King on dead­line day.

How­ever, he has im­pressed man­ager Ole Gunnar Sol­sk­jaer with his per­for­mances af­ter hav­ing to train alone due to con­cerns over his ar­rival from Shang­hai at the height of the coro­n­avirus out­break in China.

Dis­cussing his con­tract sit­u­a­tion at the week­end, Ighalo said: “Talk­ing about other things now would not only be self­ish, but ter­ri­bly in­sen­si­tive.

“The chal­lenge be­fore us is not a foot­ball one, but a global one. You can’t put foot­ball be­fore health chal­lenges.”

Af­ter United’s win against LASK ear­lier this month, Sol­sk­jaer gave an in­di­ca­tion that United were in­ter­ested in mak­ing Ighalo’s move per­ma­nent.

“He will im­prove and get bet­ter,” Sol­sk­jaer said.

Odion Ighalo

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