Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo may well be back in the Premier League next season, but it may be in the colours of Newcastle Utd rather than Manchester United, according to the latest report.
United signed Ighalo on loan on deadline day in January following Marcus Rashford’s back injury and it is unclear whether the forward will be handed a permanent deal at Old Trafford.
The Nigerian, 30, is in the midst of a six-month loan spell at Old Trafford from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
Despite appearing to some to be a late panic buy as the winter window drew to a close, the former Hornet has performed admirably thus far, notching four goals from his eight appearances.
His adjustment to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s setup was seamless, and the boyhood Man Utd fan recently name-checked three former Red Devils heroes he would’ve loved to have played alongside.
Man Utd reportedly made securing his signature on a permanent basis a top priority for the summer ahead, though one particular financial aspect of the deal could prove tricky to overcome.
Furthermore, Sky Sports now report that parent club Shanghai expect Ighalo to return from his loan spell ‘for the start of the new Chinese Super League season,’ tentatively scheduled to begin in July.
The article notes that Shanghai’s desire will only be offset if the Red Devils stump up the requisite fee to sign Ighalo on a permanent basis, with that sum slated to be around the £20m mark.
Should Utd deem the deal unfeasible, Newcastle could become Ighalo’s surprise next destination.
The Magpies are described as being ‘interested in Ighalo if their proposed takeover is completed this summer.’
The men from the North East are currently the subject of speculation regarding a Saudi Arabian-backed takeover, and if completed, are expected to be big spenders when the next transfer window opens.
Meanwhile, Man Utd appear to have beaten off competition from Liverpool and Tottenham in the race to sign a 16-year-old academy ace.
According to the Star on Sunday, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, head of first-team development Nicky Butt and first-team coach Michael Carrick were all impressed with the youngster’s performances at Under-18s level.
As such, the Red Devils have reportedly gone to sizeable lengths – for a teenager – in their bid to sign him by offering him a contract worth £1,200 per week.