3 options for Odion Ighalo as summer nears

Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has proved how effective he can be in one of the major leagues in European football since joining Manchester United on loan.

The 30-year-old’s spell at Old Trafford expires later this year so here is a look at the options which may be presented to the goalscorer when that happens.

Return to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua

Ighalo is contracted to return to China to play for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua when his loan spell finishes in May. Reports suggest the Nigeria international has been offered a new £400,000 a week deal to remain with the Chinese club.

The former Watford striker joined Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in February 2019. After a successful opening year in the Chinese Premier League with Changchun Yatai, the Shanghai club opted to sign the forward.

Ighalo has played 19 times for Shanghai where he has an impressive record with 10 goals to his name. His parent club will be hoping to get their player back for a large chunk of their 2020 season.

Shanghai are also involved in the AFC Champions League this year so will be relying on their striker’s goals to help them progress in that competition.

Push for a permanent Manchester United move

A lot of eyebrows were raised when Manchester United opted to sign Ighalo from China. Many people were expecting United to splash the cash on a more recognisable name, with Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi and Harry Kane all being linked with the club.

Along with Bruno Fernandes, Ighalo has given United fans a big lift with his goals and performances. The Nigerian has particularly had success in the Europa League, where his side are the favourites in the football betting to lift the trophy.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated how impressed he has been with Ighalo. He fitted into the squad very quickly and without his goals, United would be in a far worse position.

If Ighalo wants to stay at Old Trafford, he could push for a permanent move later this year. United would almost certainly be keen to sign the striker who could prove a valuable player for them next season in their new-look side.

Keep options open in Europe

Many clubs around Europe will be monitoring the situation with Ighalo. They would have seen the impact he has made at Old Trafford and will surely jump at the chance to sign the Nigerian if he becomes available.

Ighalo has had spells in Norway, Italy and Spain as well as England and China, so he has experience of many European leagues. At the age of 30, he has many years ahead of him at the highest level so it would be no surprise to see a major La Liga or Serie A side come in for him.

Barcelona made an attempt to sign Ighalo in March 2019 but he opted to remain in China. If he gets another chance to join one of the elite teams in the Champions League again, he may jump at the opportunity.

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