Odion Ighalo’s stay at Old Trafford could be made permanent at the end of the season Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed.
Ighalo, 30, joined the Red Devils on a loan deal from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.
Busybuddiesng.com had earlier reported that United could yet make Ighalo’s move permanent having been prevented from negotiating an option to buy the striker at the end of the loan due to time constraints as both sides raced to get the transfer over the line moments before the deadline.
The former Super Eagles forward has not had the greatest of starts at Old Trafford. He did not travel with the rest of United’s first team on their warm-weather training trip to Spain amid fears that he could be denied re-entry to the United Kingdom having come from China where the Coronavirus originated.
He has, however, travelled with the rest of the squad for Monday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea and is likely to make his United debut as a substitute at Stamford Bridge later today.
Stepping out on the pitch as a United player in his number 25 jersey and customised boots dedicated to the memory of his late sister will fulfil a lifelong dream for Ighalo who grew up supporting United.
And Solskjaer says Ighalo could yet spend more years at Old Trafford beyond the initial period of his loan move.
“When you are in the door, it gives you a chance,” the Norwegian said.
“If you impress as a player and a person and help the group improve, of course, there’s a chance we’ll look at extending things and signing.
“His incentive is to play as well as he can, then it’s up to us to make sure he wants to stay if we want him.”