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Martins tipped to return to Shenhua, as Ighalo’s Man Utd deal almost done

Former Super Eagles striker, Obafemi Martins has been tipped as a good replacement for Manchester United loanee, Odion Ighalo at China’s Shanghai Shenhua.

According to Chinese outlet Titan Sports Plus, Ighalo is on the verge of securing a permanent move to Man United thanks to his parent club, Shenhua, already lining up a replacement striker.

Martins previously played for the Chinese Super League side between 2016 and 2018, scoring 19 goals in 40 league games, though the former Nigeria international has not played since being released from the club in 2018 and has suffered a string of injuries.

But the 35-year-old’s imminent return to Shanghai Shenhua could play a vital role in bringing about Ighalo’s move to United.

Ighalo was brought to Old Trafford in January to bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options in attack following the departure of Romelu Lukaku last summer and a serious back injury to Marcus Rashford.

Since then, the former Watford forward has impressed with four goals and one assist in eight appearances and the Red Devils boss has indicated that he is keen on making the move a permanent one.

And now the path might have opened up for Ighalo’s loan move to become a transfer, with a report that Obafemi Martins is primed to return to the Chinese club.

Solskjaer admitted that he is open to the permanent deal last month, saying: “It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance.

“That doesn’t just go for Odion, but since you asked, yes, of course, his incentive is to play as well as he can.

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“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.

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