Manchester United favourite Dimitar Berbatov believes the Red Devils should consider the prospect of retaining the services of Odion Ighalo next season.
The Nigeria international made the surprise loan move from Shanghai Shenhua in January and there were initial doubts whether he could make an impact with the Red Devils.
He has, however, exceeded the early expectations with four goals and one assist from eight appearances and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted last month that the forward could remain with the club next term.
In an exclusive interview with Goal.com, Berbatov said that United should keep hold of Ighalo next season, particularly if he is able to continue with the good scoring form for the remainder of the campaign.
Of late, Harry Kane has been linked with a shock move to Old Trafford from Tottenham Hotspur but Berbatov feels it would make sense for the club to extend Ighalo’s stay with the current global situation.
“If Ighalo continues how he has done so far, scoring goals and helping the team, then I think he should be given another contract, but saying that you need to weigh up the situation,” he told.
“[Jadon] Sancho and [Harry] Kane are two names being talked up with moves to the club at the moment, so you need to calculate what direction the club wants to go. ‘Do they want to buy new strikers?
“If they do it would seem strange to keep Ighalo. With the current situation, I can’t see them spending too much and I think it would make sense for Ighalo to stay.”
The current campaign has been halted due to the untimely coronavirus outbreak and there are suggestions that the season may not resume until July where the remaining games could be played behind closed doors.
Almost every club will have been hampered financially with the current pandemic and United could limit their outlay on new players when the transfer reopens at the end of the ongoing campaign.
In such a case, a big-money move for a new striker may not happen and the club could instead sign Ighalo on a permanent basis for around £15m from Chinese Super League side Shenhua.