Odion Ighalo scored four goals in his first eight matches with Manchester United. However, the Nigerian forward might not be able to play for the Old Trafford again unless several things go his way in the coming months.
The veteran striker, who is on loan at Old Trafford from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua, must return to his parent club once his current deal with Manchester United expires at the end of the 2019-20 season. Further complicating the matters is the fact that the Chinese Super League will resume either at the end of June or start of July.
Ighalo is looking to make a personal sacrifice to remain at United until the end of the 2019-20 campaign. Shenhua would be open to part ways with Ighalo on a permanent basis. However, The Red Devils do not want a transfer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be open to extend the loan agreement for another year, though.
The ball now lies on what the Chinese side wants to do. If they allow Ighalo to fulfill his boyhood dream and remain at United, they know they would get him back once the Chinese Super League had already resumed. It would take a good gesture from them to extend the loan. After all, Ighalo is far and away their top attacking option.
Manchester United do have more alternatives upfront, though. Marcus Rashford should be healthy once the league resumes and Anthony Martial was having a strong season before the lockdown. That said, Ighalo gives the side an experienced, big-bodied threat who can play between the centre-backs. Big teams always need that kind of players.
The Nigerian is doing everything he can to remain at Old Trafford. Will Shanghai allow him to accomplish his goal? Unfortunately, only time will tell.