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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Ighalo trains in public park as UK confirms EPL can start next month

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Odion Ighalo is ensuring he’s in tip-top shape for the return of the Premier League as he was seen training in a Cheshire Park yesterday, reports

Ighalo was pictured maintaining his fitness levels at a time when the British Government announced that the top-flight could return behind closed doors as early as June 1.

Ighalo donned United training gear, including his No.25 shorts, as he took part in various training drills seemingly set out by his club.

The striker even took time out of his regime to sign an autograph for a fan, while abiding by the strict social distancing rules.

Top-level sport in England could restart behind closed doors from June 1 but spectators may not be able to attend venues until a vaccine is found.

The Government’s road map for exiting the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus was published yesterday, setting out the conditions under which various activities can be safely carried out.

Step two of the road map, which cannot begin any earlier than June 1, includes “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind-closed-doors for broadcast while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”.

The Nigerian forward has impressed in his brief time at Old Trafford since joining the club on loan in January, but his deal expires next month.

United was hopeful of extending that date further to allow for the delay in completing the Premier League season due to coronavirus.

Indeed, the Red Devils were also weighing up signing Ighalo on a permanent basis this summer after being pleased with his impact.

That could prove to be the only way of keeping the 30-year-old at the club, with Shanghai Shenhua holding out for a £20million transfer fee.

However, during an appearance on Instagram Live, Neville reckons United would be making a mistake if they sign Ighalo for the touted valuation.

“Is ighalo worth £20m?” said Neville.

“Probably not in this market. He may have been if he continued before scoring goals but you probably don’t need now to spend £20m.”

In a document outlining plans to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken more than 30,000 lives in the United Kingdon, the government has said it will allow professional sporting events to return from June 1 behind closed doors.

That timeline would allow the Premier League’s plan to resume the season in June to go ahead. All 20 Premier League clubs are meeting via video call against on Monday to hold further discussions around the Project Restart proposals.

In a government document that outlines plans to ease the United Kingdom out of lockdown, the government listed what would be permissible from June 1, including: “Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind-closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.”

That would mean Premier League games resuming behind closed doors and being screened live on TV, with the government advice stating the events can return “for broadcast”.

Clubs are yet to agree to a plan for restarting the season, with as many as eight top-flight clubs believed to be against the idea of playing games at neutral venues.

Further discussions are to take place this week between the clubs and the Premier League to try and find a resolution before a vote will take place on the proposals.

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