Odion Ighalo has been banned from Manchester United’s AON training ground over fears of a potential coronavirus risk.
It is the latest setback for the striker who joined the Red Devils in a six-month loan deal from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua as precautions over possible exposure to the coronavirus continues to disrupt his integration into United’s squad.
The virus which recently broke out in the Wuhan province of China has already claimed more than 1,100 lives and infected tens of thousands more in the country and around the world.
Ighalo had already been prevented from travelling with the Red Devils on their warm-weather training trip to Marbella, Spain over the same issue.
United had feared that border restrictions could be tightened on travellers who have been in China within the past 14 days, potentially affecting his re-entry to the UK.
With the rest of United’s first squad in Spain, the 30-year-old former Super Eagles striker has been on a personalised fitness programme with Manchester-based performance coach Wayne Richardson at the GB Taekwondo Centre in Manchester.
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It was believed Ighalo would join his new teammates at Carrington on their return from Spain but the club has now instructed him to stay away from the training ground on health and safety grounds.
According to the Daily Mirror, United took the precautionary decision to make Ighalo train away from the club’s Carrington base, while he is still within the mandated 14-day incubation period.
The report says United considered it the most sensible course of action for him to train away, to minimise the risk to players and staff.
There is no suggestion the Ighalo has been infected, with the possibility of him having been exposed to the virus understood to be statistically minute.
However, United felt they had to take precautionary measures, while the risk of infection was possible.
Ighalo will continue to train alone before joining up with his United team-mates ahead of Monday’s Premier League trip to Chelsea.
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United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already confirmed Ighalo will travel with the squad to Stamford Bridge and is expected to be named in the 18-man squad ahead of a possible debut.