ESPN reports that Manchester United may lose Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo because his three-month contract ends on May 31. His parent club Shanghai Shenhua wants him back in time for the Chinese Super league, which is scheduled to start in July.
The Red Devils would love to hold on to the striker who has scored 3 goals in three starts in his 8 appearances for the club. United hasn’t had any discussions with Shenhua, and will have to temporarily put that issue on hold until a completion of the season can be finalised. The striker would have had an opportunity to feature in more matches during the season, but those opportunities were curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the club would love to keep him permanently, they are reluctant to sign him because Solskjaer is aware that he may not have the 30-year-old in his squad, if the Premier League is able to resume in June. The UK government approved June the 1st as the date professional sports can resume their activities. But the Premier League has a target date of June 8th.
United are willing to offer a fresh loan fee, but this might not be enough to tempt the Chinese club to part ways with their player. Shanghai also has an estimated price tag of about £20 million.
With just 9 more games to go until the end of the season I believe we should be fine without him. The best thing that United can do is send him back to his parent club. I don’t see him staying now permanently or signing him on an extended loan agreement with Shanghai Shenhua with their league starting in July. Also, surely United isn’t going to pay a £20 million fee in order to permanently keep him here. So that’s out of the question too.
Marcus Rashford is close to full recovery and could return from his back injury. So he may be able to play some part in the remaining games left. Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood has done well so far this season and we’re on a nice winning streak. Bruno Fernandes has added a new found confidence and spark to the team. He has already proved that he can score goals for us in his nine appearances with three goals.
We’re still in the FA Cup and the Europa League and we could win both and finish in the top four. A 5th place finish may be enough to qualify for the Champions League next season even if we don’t win the Europa League. That’s as long as Manchester City doesn’t win their appeal after being banned from the Champions League for two seasons by UEFA for breaking the financial fair play rules. City can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in order to over turn the ruling.
Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata has chipped in with a few goals and even the other midfielders have been scoring lately. So United should be fine without Ighalo. Let’s just focus on winning our last nine games and try to finish in the top four and win a title or two at the end of the season.
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