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Ighalo to return to China – what now for Man Utd?

It has been reported today that Odion Ighalo is set to return to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua when his loan deal expires on 31 May.

The BBC state that we are ‘struggling’ to agree an extension on his current deal.

Ighalo was signed on loan until the end of the season back in January as cover for Marcus Rashford, who had been ruled out for several months with a back injury.

The disruption caused by COVID-19 has meant that the 2019-20 Premier League campaign has been suspended since mid-March and unlikely to be restarted until mid-June at the earliest, if indeed it does get back underway at all.

By that time, Marcus Rashford will be back fully fit again and therefore Odion Ighalo returning to China will not be such a big loss. The 30-year-old made just four substitute appearances totaling 61 minutes in the Premier League, only starting matches in the FA Cup and Europa League – two competitions that will not continue this season.

Manchester United have decided not to sign Ighalo on a permanent basis, with Anthony Martial an alternative option up front to Rashford for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Odion Ighalo returned to training last week as part of the Premier League’s Project Restart and it’s understood he will continue to train with us this week too, suggesting there is still hope that he will finish the 2019-20 campaign with us.

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