Manchester United are ready to sign Odion Ighalo for up to £15million this summer after it emerged the Nigerian striker’s loan runs out on May 31.
According to Sportsmail, Ighalo’s temporary move from Shanghai Shenhua is set to end a month earlier than most loan deals.
United may have to negotiate an extension with the Chinese club if the Premier League season — on hold until the end of April —continues into June, although world players’ union FIFPro is working on a solution to the contract uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Ighalo has been impressive seen joining, scoring four goals in eight games so far and there is a willingness at Old Trafford to sign him permanently.
Shanghai are prepared to sell Ighalo and have put a £15m valuation on the player, who will be 31 in June. They did not ask for a loan fee in January because United agreed to contribute £130,000 a week towards Ighalo’s wages of £300,000 a week.
Ighalo was initially seen as a stop-gap signing after United failed with a bid to bring in Bournemouth’s Josh King on deadline day.
Last month, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he was monitoring the situation and could make the loan deal permanent if the striker continued to impress.
“It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance,” said Solskjaer.
“That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs if it’s permanent or it’s a loan. If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, then of course there’s a chance that we’ll look at extending things.
“Hopefully he’ll prove to you what I think he will. He’s a proven goalscorer, so he’ll do all right.”