Shanghai Shenhua are prepared to relent and allow Odion Ighalo to remain on loan at Manchester United beyond this month, but only if he commits to sign a new contract with the Chinese club.
The Nigerian striker moved to Old Trafford in January on a short-term loan deal that expires this Sunday, May 31, which would prevent him from playing any part in the soon-to-be-restarted Premier League season.
United are eager to keep Ighalo, though, and remain in talks with Shanghai to try and extend his loan, having balked at their £20million valuation to make the deal permanent.
According to Sky Sports, United’s hopes have been boosted due to border restrictions in China preventing the forward from returning to Shanghai for the start of their new season in June.
If he cannot return, the Chinese side will begrudgingly allow Ighalo to stay at Old Trafford on a short-term basis and instead bring in a temporary replacement of their own.
Any agreement for Ighalo to stay at United will also be contingent on the 30-year-old signing a new contract with Shanghai that will secure his long-term future.
Ighalo’s current contract expires in December 2022 but Shanghai have tabled a two-year extension, offering to pay the forward an astonishing £400,000-a-week.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret of his desire to keep Ighalo, who scored four goals after arriving on loan and has returned to training with the rest of the United squad in anticipation of being allowed to remain at the club.
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