Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes on-loan Odion Ighalo will stay beyond the end of his current loan deal from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
The 30-year-old forward’s stint with his boyhood club was cut short by the suspension of the Premier League due to the coronavirus. His loan deal expires next week and Solskjaer has revealed that talks are ongoing to extend his stay.
Shanghai are keen to bring the attacker back ahead of the planned resumption of the Chinese Super League, which has also been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The likelihood is this will be in late June.
Meanwhile, the Reds await confirmation of when the Premier League is due to get under way, with the Project Restart plan also still to be finalised.
The players are back at the Aon Training Complex but are following social distancing guidelines by working in small groups with no contact.
“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.”
The Nigerian made an instant impact, scoring four times in eight appearances. He was on target in all three of his starts, as well as contributing when coming off the bench late on in games, such as in the memorable derby win over Manchester City.
Ighalo’s arrival came when Marcus Rashford had been ruled out with a back problem but the England international is currently training and Solskjaer has revealed he expects to have a full squad to choose from when the sport does return.
In addition to completing the Premier League fixtures, United are also hoping to be able to compete for silverware in the Emirates FA Cup and Europa League, providing everything goes to plan – competitions Ighalo has already scored two goals apiece in.
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By Mthokozisi Dube