Manchester United are seeking to sign an experienced striker this summer to help teenager Mason Greenwood’s development at the club after his breakthrough season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo to the club during the January transfer window with the player signing a six-month loan deal at the club.
Ighalo remains United’s number one target, according to reports but the offer of a new contract from his club, which plays in the Chinese Super League would not be something that United would match, especially for a player heading into the twilight years of his career. Ighalo has been a good signing so far, playing a bit-part role under Solskjaer.
Sky Sports presenter Dharmesh Sheth has spoken about the reports of Ighalo’s new contract offer from his club, Shanghai Shenhua which is reportedly around £400,000 per week to remain in China. These are great terms for any player but playing for United is a lot more high profile than playing in China. Sheth was quoted as saying:
“Manchester United have been very impressed and pleased with the progress that Mason Greenwood has made this season.
“But they do remain in the market for a striker, and the one that they want is a player that is already in their squad, Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua of course.
“Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is very impressed with the impact that Ighalo has made this season and sees Ighalo as a man of experience who can help some of the younger players, including Mason Greenwood.
“However, this deal is not as easy as it sounds. That’s because Shanghai Shenhua have offered Ighalo a new contract worth around £400,000-a-week. That’s simply a wage that Manchester United would not pay.”
In eight appearances, playing 318 minutes of football since arriving at United, Ighalo has scored four goals and one assist, which is a good return for a relatively short period of time before the coronavirus pandemic stopped football all around the world. The Nigerian will be seeking to continue on that track when football returns, if he’s able to stay.
The Nigerian forward was signed on loan until the end of the season and with football still likely to continue this season and the fact that European leagues have until the 25 May to tell UEFA whether they want to continue their seasons or cancel the season, there is a chance that the players contract expires before football actually returns, but a decision will be made about that as many clubs will be affected.
Solskjaer will probably want Ighalo to continue the season at United with the club making a decision on making an offer for him. The rumours suggest that the Nigerian took a pay cut to sign for United and seemed happy doing so, even making sure the club officials heard about United’s interest in January and him wanting to get it done.
Signing a new contract in China and being paid £400,000 per week is too good to turn down, especially for a player in his 30s. Money is not everything though. Paying for United for a six month period or so may be good for him but if there is a chance he can become a permanent player, he should really think about that.
United might offer him £100,000 or even £150,000 per week to sign a three or four year contract, which is a good deal, especially if playing for United was a dream that he wanted to achieve, which seems to be the case considering the player’s urgency to get the loan deal done and move back to England. Personally, he’s an ideal player to have in the team.
He may not be the biggest name in world football but he has been somewhat of a revelation when he has played this season, having five goal contributions (four goals and one assist) in the eight matches he has played in. If that continues, it will only be a certainty as to whether United sign him permanently, which would be good for United, Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.