By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
The loan signing of Super Eagles forward, Jude Odion Ighalo during January transfer window was met by criticism from pundits and Manchester United faithful. Some asserted that his loan move from Shanghai Shenhua in China was panic buying.
Fast forward to May 2020, Ighalo has been able to silence the critics by adding more bite to United’s attack line. He scored four goals for Manchester United in three starts. A superb goal against LASK in the UEFA Europa League amid the COVID-19 pandemic also stamped Ighalo’s quality.
Ighalo’s loan spell is expected to end by May 31, 2020, after which he is expected to return to Shanghai Shenhua with the restart of the English Premier League still in limbo.
If the latest word stemming from Manchester is to be believed, though, then all hope may not be lost.
First, the reliable Simon Stone of British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Sport confirmed that the Red Devils are ‘still trying’ to find an agreement with Ighalo’s parent club, Shanghai Shenhua.
Man Utd not given up hope of keeping Ighalo to end of season. One source says it’s 50-50, others less optimistic. Club still trying. Shanghai hold the power clearly.
This has since been followed by a further update on the part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Speaking in an interview with Manchester United Television, MUTV, the United boss was drawn on the delicate nature of Ighalo’s situation, with Solskjaer having revealed his hope that a deal will eventually be struck:
‘We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club. Hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. At the moment, nothing has been agreed. We’re just waiting to see.’
If Manchester United and Shanghai Shenhua fails to agree to Ighalo’s loan extension, it means that the former Prime FC, Julius Berger, Lyn, Udinese, Granada, Watford, Cesena, and Changchung Yatai forward will have to return to his parents’ club thereby truncating his dream spell at Manchester United.
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