Odion Ighalo will not travel with Manchester United on their warm-weather training trip to Spain over Coronavirus fears Sky Sports have reported.
The 30-year-old boyhood United fan joined the Red Devils on a six-month loan deal from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on transfer deadline day.
He had been expected to travel with the rest of United’s squad on their winter break to Spain but potential changes to border restrictions on people arriving the UK from China means he won’t be able to make the trip according to Sky Sports.
China has been battling with a raging coronavirus epidemic which has infected tens of thousands and claimed hundreds of lives.
Many countries have set up measures to stop the spread of the virus including closely monitoring the movements of people who have visited China recently.
More than two dozen airlines have suspended or restricted flights to China and at least 17 countries have imposed travel restrictions on people coming from the country.
There is no suggestion Ighalo has the virus, but the development will come as a serious blow to Ole Gunnar Solksjaer who had hoped to use the Spain trip to integrate the striker into the squad.
“Odion will stay in Manchester because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was quoted as saying on the club’s website here on Saturday.
“Because of the situation in China, we’re not sure if he’d be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again, so he’s staying, working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England.
“Of course, he might have liked to come with the players and got to know them but the risk (of potential border restrictions tightening), we don’t want to take that.”
Midfielder Scott McTominay (knee) and defender Axel Tuanzebe (thigh), who have not played since December, will join the rest of the squad as they continue their recovery.
Record signing Paul Pogba remains sidelined following ankle surgery while striker Marcus Rashford is nursing a stress fracture in his back.
The former Watford striker had been in line to make his Red Devils debut against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 17 February before this setback.