- Insist he signs new two-year deal until 2024 to allow his extended stay
Femi Solaja with agency report
Chinese Super League club, Shanghai Shenhua, have given Odion Ighalo the option of signing a new two-year deal worth £400,000 a week with them until 2024 for him to be granted his wish to remain on loan with Manchester United until January.
This latest option on the table for the Nigerian international, appears to have foreclosed any talk about a permanent switch to Old Trafford.
According to Sky Sports yesterday evening, this is the latest on the ongoing talks over whether he will remain in England on loan to finish the 2019/20 season or leave to head back to China.
The loan deal Ighalo signed in January is due to expire in the next 48 hours. It was originally to end with the Premier League season but the coronavirus pandemic that caused global sports to be grounded since early March has now extended the season beyond expectations. The restart of the EPL has been scheduled for June 17.
The Nigerian forward is currently under contract until 2022 in Shanghai but the club are desperate to top his deal up with a further two years before they allow him to stay – and potentially impress – in the Premier League.
Ighalo has only started three games for United – making a further five appearances off the bench – but already has four goals to his name.
With his contract currently ending this weekend, there is some confusion over where he goes next, with reports earlier in the week claiming he would be unable to return to China until October.
It was stated that travel restrictions on foreigners returning to China – which includes around a third of Chinese Super League footballers – could remain in place for months to come, despite the new season starting in June.
Shanghai Shenhua are believed to be ready to bring in a short-term replacement for Ighalo should he not be able to return, giving Manchester United a boost in their attacking department for the coming months.
Just before the news of this fresh option came, the former Watford forward had appealed to his parent club to allow him finish the season at Old Trafford.
Talks on a permanent switch fell through as United appears not willing to pay the £20million price tag demanded by the Chinese club for a 30-year Old Ighalo.