It looks like Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has played his last game for Manchester United as he is set to return to his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
Ighalo’s loan deal at Manchester United runs out on Sunday, May 31 and although the club wanted him until August so he could play a part in the restart of the Premier League, Shenhua want the striker back as soon as possible.
According to reports, Shenhua wanted Manchester United to commit to signing Ighalo on a permanent deal before they could allow the striker to remain beyond May 31.
Manchester United have however balked at Shenhua’s asking price in the excess of £20million and have turned down the opportunity to sign the striker.
The return of Marcus Rashford also means Manchester United do not need Ighalo despite his impressive return of four goals in three starts and eight games.
With his Manchester United career now over, Ighalo is to return to China and has the chance to sign a two-year contract extension until 2024 on improved terms of £400,000 a week.
It is thought that Manchester United wanted to keep the Nigerian beyond his loan deal as coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said the striker has the qualities that the club needs next season.
“Odion has done really well since he came in and he is enjoying himself,” Solskjaer as quoted by the Mirror.
“He will improve and get better, but he has qualities we saw in him and we needed and we will still need those qualities next season, so let’s see what we will do.”
Ighalo’s four goals for Manchester United all came in cup competitions (League Cup and Europa League).