Manchester United of England striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has received a mouth-watering two-year contract extension offer worth £400,000 per week from his parent club, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua of China, megasportsarena.com reports.
Although initial reports on Wednesday indicated that the Chinese Super League club had turned to Ighalo’s compatriot, Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins to stage a return to the team in place of the Man United loanee, another line of thought appears to becoming out of Shanghai.
This is sequel to feels indicating that top officials at Shenhua might not be disposed with the idea of losing Ighalo in a permanent deal to United, considering the remarkable burst of form that the former Super Eagles’ striker has enacted in only three months with The Red Devils.
Consequently, Ighalo has been offered a two-year contract extension worth more than £400,000 per week by Shenhua, as the Chinese club want to cash in on his good form at United, where has scored four goals in his first three starts, and eight matches overall.
The 30-year-old Ighalo’s loan deal at Old Trafford expires on May 31st, but it is likely to be extended until June 30 because of the ongoing suspension of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Interestingly, Ighalo’s current contract expires in December 2022, but Sky Sports reports that Shanghai want to keep him until December 2024, in a new deal that would see him earn £400,000 a week before tax.
However, while the report adds that Shenhua’s offer flattered Ighalo, the striker’s focus is on how he can do even better with United until his loan spell expires, before which he will also wait to see if the EPL club will offer him a permanent deal before making a decision on his future.
Sky Sports reported further: “Ighalo has always said it has been a dream playing for United, the club he supported as a boy. Before a ball had even been kicked, the 30-year-old’s infectious application drew admiration from his team-mates and manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who knew at the very least he’d made a valuable addition to his squad.
“When the time eventually came for Ighalo on the pitch, he proved he had the aptitude to match his first-class attitude. Just as he looked to have really settled into his groove, the coronavirus outbreak limited Ighalo to just eight United appearances, but in that handful of games he more than left his mark.
“Premier League minutes – and, for that matter, goals – have proven tough to come by for Ighalo, but the half-an-hour he has got under his belt has proven to be eventful.
“Having nearly marked his top-flight debut for United with a goal, seconds after coming on in their 2-0 victory at Chelsea on February 17, Ighalo’s superb hold-up play and back heel laid the foundation for the attack which led to Scott McTominay’s strike in the Manchester derby.
“Ighalo is a different type of forward to his United team-mates Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. But it is in the cup competitions where Ighalo has really come to the fore.
“The striker has scored four goals in three starts, the latest of which came in emphatic fashion as he rifled United into the lead against LASK in the last 16 of the Europa League, hours before football was suspended. It was a strike that left Solskjaer purring.
“In his 31 minutes of Premier League football for United, the Nigerian has not only demonstrated he knows his role in Solskjaer’s squad but shown how much he relishes it, offering a presence, a focal point up top that occupies opposition defenders and brings others into play.
“It’s something United have yearned for since Romelu Lukaku’s departure, and you could even argue has not been fully addressed since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s time at Old Trafford.
“What’s more, Ighalo’s selfless leading of the line could crucially unshackle Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford from duties at the spearhead of the attack the pair have seldom been able to fulfil with a level of consistency Solskjaer is searching for.
“In his short Premier League career with the club, Ighalo averages nine more touches in the opposition box across 90 minutes than United’s two main striking options, figures which of course are caveated by the fact he’s played a mere 30 top-flight minutes, but credible figures.”