The Nigerian’s loan deal expires at the end of May and the Old Trafford boss has given an update on the striker’s potential departure
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Odion Ighalo can extend his loan stay at Manchester United but has confirmed an agreement has yet to be reached with Shanghai Shenhua, with the striker’s deal set to expire in a matter of days.
Ighalo signed for United on the final day of the January transfer window on a loan deal until the end of the May, when the current season should have finished. However, the postponement of all fixtures due to Covid-19 means the Nigerian has only played eight times and as it stands is set to leave the club at the end of the week.
United would like to extend his loan stay, as new Premier League rules permit, but his parent club Shanghai Shenhua are keen to have him back for the start of the Chinese Super League season.
Solskjaer has confirmed the two clubs are still in talks but they have yet to reach a resolution and the end of his deal is getting closer.
“The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back,” Solskjaer told MUTV. “We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.
”It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.”
Ighalo has impressed during his eight appearances since his arrival in January, scoring four goals in his three starts. The striker is keen to extend his stay at his boyhood club but Goal understands United have not opened negotiations to keep the 30-year-old on a permanent basis.
It is understood Shenhua have offered Ighalo a new contract worth around £400,000 a week and they are keen to have him back to boost their paper-thin squad.
Solskjaer’s squad, however, is back to full strength ahead of the potential restart of the Premier League, with both Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford back to full fitness.
“They [Rashford and Pogba] are looking good, they’ve joined training now and they’ve done everything the other boys have been doing. No reaction so far, touch wood,” Solskjaer said.
“When we get started, it looks like we can have a full squad to choose from.”