Finally, Manchester United have agreed to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan spell from parent club Shanghai Shenhua. The deal is for another seven months.
The Super Eagles striker 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 2021 was 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 United agreed to pay a revised loan fee to get the deal over the line on the day Ighalo’s contract was due to expire, according to a Daily Miror report.
The Nigerian’s agent Atta Aneke hinted that a deal was close earlier on Sunday, telling Norwegian outlet Nettavisien : “We are nearing agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan.
“The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.”
The Daily Mail reported that the loan fee United would pay proved to be a sticking point, with the club locked in talks with Shanghai Shenhua for many days.
But the Red Devils agreeing to a revised fee secured the services of Ighalo for another seven months.
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 .
“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.