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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Man Utd confirm Odion Ighalo loan extension after striking last

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Manchester United have finally agreed to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan spell from Shanghai Shenhua until January.

Ighalo seemed destined to return to the Chinese Super League at the expiry of his loan at the end of May – but a new deal until January 31, 2021 has been agreed at the eleventh hour.

Shanghai Shenhua were previously reluctant to let the former Watford man stay with his boyhood club and were holding out for their £20million price tag to be met as part of a permanent deal.

But Old Trafford chiefs agreed to pay a revised loan fee to get the deal over the line on the day Ighalo’s contract was due to expire.

Odion Ighalo has impressed on loan at Manchester United

The deal means he will miss much of the Chinese Super League season, which is due to start in July.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret of his desire to see Ighalo stay at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old impressed the United boss by scoring four goals in eight appearances – after being loaned in the January window as cover for injured star Marcus Rashford.

“They [Shanghai Shenhua] have been great towards us, his club, and allow him to play for his dream club,” Solskjaer told MUTV .

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“It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, maybe with a trophy or two.”

Meanwhile, Shanghai Shenhua remain intent on Ighalo – currently contracted until 2022 – signing a new deal to keep him in China until 2024.

It is understood those talks will remain on hold until Ighalo’s loan spell at Old Trafford comes to an end.

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