Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that January loan signing Odion Ighalo will travel as part of the squad for next Monday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and could make his debut.


Ighalo has been working on a personal fitness programme in Manchester this week, rather than join his new teammates at training camp in Spain. Having been in China within the last 14 days, there were fears from United officials that he might encounter problems re-entering the UK were he to go to Spain as measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak have been stepped up.

Solskjaer is hopeful that Ighalo, who hasn’t played since 1 December when the 2019 Chinese Super League season finished, will be fit enough to have an active role as soon as possible.


“He is going to travel with us [for the Chelsea game],” Solskjaer told ManUtd.com.


“We will just see his fitness work this week and I think we will get him sharp. We want to integrate him as quickly as we can because, of course, he is desperate to play for us.”


Ighalo has been drafted in for the rest of the season to provide attacking cover while Marcus Rashford recovers from a back injury that is expected to keep him out until mid-April.

The January signing of Bruno Fernandes has already boosted a depleted midfield, with Scott McTominay also making progress in his injury recovery after heading out to Spain.


Solskjaer is hopeful that McTominay, whose drive and grit has been missed during his layoff, will be in full training with the main squad before the end of this week.


“I hope that we will see some of them before the end of this week,” Solskjaer said of McTominay, grouping him with fellow returning duo Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.


“Next week will be a big week for them as well to get them match fit, so hopefully we can get them back on the pitch with their kit on soon.”


As for Fernandes, who made his debut in the 0-0 draw with Wolves immediately to the two-week winter break, Solskjaer has been full of praise.

Bruno Fernandes

“Overall, he is a very, very good footballer and his brain is obviously quicker than many others,” the United boss explained.


“He has got loads of attributes that we are going to get used to. We will get used to him and he will get used to us. His passing range, his deliveries, his movements, I am just pleased to see him here enjoying himself.”


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