FORMER Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo looks set leave Manchester United next month after moves by manager Ole Gunner Solksjaer to retain him fell apart as talks with the player’s Chinese clubside Shanghai Shenhua collapsed.
Ighalo, 30, is currently on loan to Manchester United for a six month period until June when the Chinese league is on a break but his scintillating form led to suggestions that this may be extended. Keen to hold on to the striker, Mr Solksjaer entered into talks with Shanghai Shenhua about extending Ighalo’s loan spell for three months but the discussions have now fallen apart.
Shanghai Shenhua have rejected Manchester United’s request and have asked Ighalo, to rejoin the club and prepare for the start of the delayed season. Unless Manchester United can make a late breakthrough in negotiations, Ighalo will return to Shanghai when his loan ends next Monday.
Although he would prefer to finish the season in England, Shanghai have the final say and are determined to get Ighalo back. Ighalo has been offered a new bumper contract worth £400,000 a week by Shanghai Shenhua in a bid to get him to return at the end of his six month loan period.
As a fallback position, Manchester United has decided to make another attempt to bring Bournemouth striker Joshua King back to the club. King came through Manchester United’s academy but has made his name at Bournemouth, scoring 48 goals in his five seasons with the Cherries.
Manchester United made a £20m bid for King on transfer deadline day in January but it was rejected and the club then moved to sign Ighalo. However, Manchester United will have to battle four of the Premier League’s top six clubs for King’s signature.