Manchester United set to agree to keep Odion Ighalo until January

Manchester United close to agreeing to keep Odion Ighalo until January in new loan deal, his agent reveals… with striker’s current contract due to expire TODAY

  • Manchester United remain locked in talks with parent club Shanghai Shenhua 
  • But his agent Atta Aneke has confirmed a deal is close but not yet finalised 
  • Sportsmail also understands that the loan fee has been a problem for United 
  • Odion Ighalo joined United in a shock deadline day move in the January window 
  • But he scored four goals in eight games before the league was suspended 

Manchester United are set to agree a new loan deal with striker Odion Ighalo, the player’s agent has revealed.

The club remain locked in talks with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua – Ighalo’s parent club –  but are said to be hopeful of agreeing a deal before his current loan agreement expires on Sunday.

And Ighalo’s agent, Atta Aneke, said that while deal has not yet been finalised, the proposed loan extension will run until the end of January 2021, when the 30-year-old will return to Shanghai. 

Manchester United are close to agreeing a loan extension for Odion Ighalo, his agent has said

The club remain in talks with Shanghai Shenhua as Ighalo’s current deal expires on Sunday

‘We are nearing agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan,’ Aneke told Norwegian outlet Nettavisen.

‘The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.’

However, Sportsmail understands Ighalo’s loan fee has been a problem for United and a new deal has not yet been agreed.

Should a deal be finalised before Sunday’s deadline though, the Nigeria international will miss a large chunk of the new Chinese Super League season, which is due to start in July.

Ighalo joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in a shock loan move on deadline day in January

Ighalo initially joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in a shock deadline-day move in January after the club had missed out on signing Norwegian star Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund.

But the former Watford forward has done himself no harm at Old Trafford by scoring four times in eight appearances prior to the suspension of the Premier League due to the coronavirus pandemic.

His memorable strikes so far in a United shirt have included a stunning volley in the Europa League win over LASK Linz as well as a double in the FA Cup against Derby to help his side through to the quarter-final stage.

Ighalo’s current contract in China expires in December 2022, but Shanghai reportedly want to keep him until at least December 2024.

But he has gone on to score four times in eight games including a brilliant volley against LASK 

Sky Sports have reported that Shanghai’s original stance was that they would only agree to a loan extension if an obligation to buy was inserted into any new deal, with Ighalo likely to cost upwards of £20million.

However, with border restrictions potentially preventing Ighalo from returning to China in time for the new season due to the pandemic, the same outlet reported that Shenhua appear to have softened their stance.

The outlet claimed that the Chinese Super Club will now allow him to extend his stay at Old Trafford on the condition he signs a new contract.

He also scored twice against Derby County in the FA Cup to help United into the quarter-finals

The news comes a few days after Solskjaer admitted his desire to keep the Nigerian beyond the expiration of his current loan.

‘We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, allowing him to play,’ the Norwegian said. 

‘It’s been a dream for him. Hopefully he can finish off what he started, maybe with a trophy or two.’

The news comes a few days after Solskjaer said he hoped to keep the Nigerian beyond May

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