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Man United extend Ighalo loan deal

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Man United have announced they have extended the loan deal for Odion Ighalo.

The initial loan deal for Ighalo, 30, was due to run out on May 31 but Man United came to an agreement with his parent club Shanghai Shenhua to extend the loan until January 31.

In a statement the Red Devils said the loan extension would “enable Ighalo to build on an impressive start to life with the club he supported as a boy.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a huge fan of the Nigerian international striker, who was signed as cover for the injured Marcus Rashford in January and scored four goals in eight games in all competitions.

“They [Shanghai Shenhua] have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us,” Solskjaer told MUTV.

Ighalo has given United more than a Plan B option up top since he arrived. The former Watford striker has held the ball up, brought other attacking players into play and scored a stunner against LASK in the Europa League. He has truly taken his chance at the club he supported as a boy and he deserves this extension.

Now that Rashford is back fit as the suspension allowed him to recover, how often will Ighalo play for Man United? He will likely get plenty of minutes in the FA Cup and Europa League, plus jump off the bench in the majority of Man United’s Premier League games and start a few. Ighalo won’t start every game but he’s proved he can be trusted to deliver goals, hold up the ball and add an extra dimension to United’s attack when they need it late on in matches.

Many people ridiculed Solskjaer and Man United for making his loan move in January but Ighalo has proven the doubters wrong and he’s perfect for a back-up option to Rashford and Anthony Martial in attack.

Extending this loan deal makes sense for everyone.

Ighalo nears reported loan extension at Manchester United

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Odion Ighalo may get his wish to continue playing for his favorite club a bit longer.

Shanghai Shenhua is reportedly close to agreeing a loan extension for the Manchester United striker hours before the end of his initial loan to Old Trafford.

[ PREMIER LEAGUE: Remaining schedule | Reaction to return ]

Ighalo turns 31 on June 16 was linked with a Shanghai return earlier this week but has been keen on staying with United. The reported problem is that Shanghai wanted a permanent transfer.

United, understandably, didn’t need that from a striker of his age, especially with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Mason Greenwood in the strike corps.

From The Manchester Evening News:

Sources close to the player have said negotiations are continuing between United and Shanghai Shenhua on Sunday but an extended loan deal until January 30 is now “looking most likely”.

That will allow Ighalo to complete the season with United and while the 2020/21 calendar remains up in the air, he will almost certainly spend the first few months of that campaign with the club as well.

Ighalo has fit the bill as a fill-in striker for the Red Devils, who had lost Rashford to injury. He has four goals in eight appearances for United after 46 goals in three seasons abroad.

Shanghai lost more than a bit of its power once United made it clear that it wouldn’t be held hostage over a veteran striker. United has at least one FA Cup match and three more Europa League legs to contend with on top of its PL slate, so any additional veteran savvy will be useful.

Ighalo looks set to leave Man United

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Man United have yet to make an offer for Odion Ighalo and it looks increasingly likely that he will leave the Red Devils later this week.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Ighalo, 30, is on loan from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua until June 1 but it is believed they only want a permanent deal for the Nigerian striker.

Per our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, Man United have yet to make an offer for Ighalo as Shanghai want either a $25 million permanent transfer or an extension of his loan with an obligation to buy. It is reported that Shanghai expect Ighalo (who has a contract with them until 2022) to be back with them for the start of the 2020 Chinese Super League season in late June.

Should Man United buy Ighalo permanently?

He was a stop-gap signing to cover for Marcus Rashford after his serious back injury but now the season has been suspended for close to three months, Rashford will be fit when the Premier League season plans to resume in mid-June. Even though Man United remain a financial juggernaut, even during the coronavirus pandemic, splashing out $25 million on a player who may jump off the bench now and then seems like a lot.

Ighalo has scored four goals in eight outings for Man United and has done exactly what was asked of him, and more, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his impact on the squad overall and with his hold-up play and finishing.

There is no doubt Ighalo took his chance at Man United but it seems unlikely the Red Devils will want to sign him permanently with Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as their other forward options.

If Ighalo’s brief stint back in the Premier League is indeed over, he did himself proud and silenced all of the doubters who mocked Man United for signing him on a short-term loan deal in January.

Report: Ighalo to leave Manchester United for China return this week

Odion Ighalo
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Manchester United have been dealt a blow to their strike force ahead of the Premier League’s hopeful return, according to The Manchester Evening News.

Loan striker Odion Ighalo is being called back to Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua this week, his loan only good until May 31.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

There was hope that the club would’ve had him for an extended spell or at least through June 30 when many contracts end, or that United could negotiate an extension for the Nigerian.

There was also talk of a permanent deal, but the transfer window will not open until at least July 1.

The player himself is a boyhood United supporter and had said he wanted to finish the season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils, but he’s a massive investment for Shanghai and they don’t owe United anything.

Ighalo, who turns 31 in June, has fit the bill as a fill-in striker for the Red Devils, who had lost Marcus Rashford to injury. He has four goals in eight appearances for United after 46 goals in three seasons abroad.

The good news for United is that Rashford is back in full training, but it would’ve been a nice luxury to have Ighalo for what’s sure to be a congested fixture list. That said, United has plenty of attacking talent including young Mason Greenwood. The Red Devils should be fine.

Transfer rumor roundup: Meunier to Spurs, Newcastle linked with trio

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Soon-to-be free agent Thomas Meunier is being linked with a move to North London.

The sought-after Belgian defender, 28, has been with Paris Saint-Germain since a 2016 move from Club Brugge.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Meunier has been linked to Manchester United and Everton since the start of 2019, but Spurs are said to be leading the race according to Le Parisien.

Also carrying 40 Belgian caps with seven goals, Meunier is a third-place finisher at the World Cup and has won three Ligue 1 crowns.

Separate reports have added Chelsea and Juventus to Meunier’s list of suitors, as transfer fee-free players could be all the rage this summer as teams monitor their budgets during the coronavirus pandemic.


Newcastle United continues to be linked with nearly every player under the sun.

James Rodriguez is the latest, the Colombian star looking for a home away from Real Madrid.

James will cost around $34 million, and has also been linked with a bevy of clubs including MLS new boys Inter Miami CF.

And while Manchester United fans wait to see whether Shanghai Shenhua will allow Odion Ighalo to extend his loan, Newcastle is said to be open to meeting the Chinese Super League side’s $23 million asking price for a permanent deal.

Ighalo, who turns 31 in June, has fit the bill as a fill-in striker for the Red Devils, who had lost Marcus Rashford to injury. He has four goals in eight appearances for United after 46 goals in three seasons abroad.

The Magpies have a star goalkeeper in Martin Dubravka, but they are also being linked with a massive $56 million bid for Benfica star Odysseas Vlachodimos.

The 26-year-old Greek backstop has 16 clean sheets this season and six caps for his national team.