By Sky Sports News,
Manchester United are close to agreeing a loan extension for striker Odion Ighalo.
United remain in talks with Ighalo’s parent club Shanghai Shenhua, and it is hoped a deal can be agreed before the striker’s current loan deal expires on Sunday.
The proposed loan extension will run until the end of January, when Ighalo will return to Shanghai.
If agreed, Ighalo will miss the majority of the 2020 Chinese Super League season, which is scheduled to begin in June.
Shanghai’s original stance was that they would only agree to extend his loan if an obligation to buy was incorporated into the deal, with Ighalo likely to cost upwards of £20m.
However, with border restrictions potentially preventing Ighalo from returning to China in time for the new season, Shenhua have softened their stance and will now allow him to extend his stay at Old Trafford on the condition he signs a new contract.
Sky Sports News revealed in March that Ighalo had been offered a two-year contract extension with Shanghai worth £400,000 a week.
His current contract expires in December 2022, but Shanghai want to keep him until at least December 2024.
Ighalo initially joined United in a Deadline Day move in January, and scored four times in eight appearances prior to the suspension of the Premier League.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful the club can extend Ighalo’s loan spell so he can “finish off what he started”.
“The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back,” Solskjaer told MUTV earlier this week.
“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.”
Photo: Odion Ighalo