Odion Ighalo set for permanent Manchester United move as Shanghai Shenhua close in on replacement

The Nigerian has scored four goals since his move to Old Trafford

Jack Rathborn
Wednesday 25 March 2020 08:53 GMT
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer delighted with Manchester United display

Odion Ighalo looks set for a permanent move to Manchester United with his parent club Shanghai Shenhua on the verge of signing his replacement.

Ighalo joined United on loan in January in a surprise move after three years in the Chinese Super League following a spell with Watford.

And the 30-year-old’s former club now look set to move on with reports in China that they are closing in on Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins as his replacement.

Ighalo has been sensational since moving to Old Trafford, scoring four goals and making one assist, heightening the chance of making his move permanent, with his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitting it is possibility.

“It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance,” Solskjaer said last month. “That doesn’t just go for Odion, but since you asked, yes, of course his incentive is to play as well as he can.

Ighalo has impressed on loan at United
Ighalo has impressed on loan at United (Getty)

“And it’s up to us to make sure that he’d want to stay if we wanted him. I think he’s probably pinching himself at times, because he’s now at his favourite club at the age of 30.

“Hopefully he’ll prove to you what I think he will. He’s a proven goalscorer, so he’ll do all right. That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs if it’s permanent or it’s a loan.

“If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, then of course there’s a chance that we’ll look at extending things.

Martins previously played for Shenhua from 2016 until the end of the 2018 season with Titan Sports reporting he had arrived in China on Tuesday.

China’s domestic league is still to start due to an indefinite delay after the coronavirus outbreak, though kick-off could occur in late April or early May.

Reuters contributed to this report

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