Man Utd Reach 'Breakthrough' in Talks to Keep Odion Ighalo for Rest of 2020

Odion Ighalo
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United are edging closer to extending Odion Ighalo's stay at the club until the end of the calendar year, after a 'breakthrough' was made in discussions with the player's parent club Shanghai Shenhua.

The Nigerian was initially signed on a loan deal until 31 May in January to compensate for Marcus Rashford's spell on the sidelines, but Ighalo has impressed enough during his at Old Trafford to make the club pursue a longer deal.

View this post on Instagram

?

A post shared by Odion Jude Ighalo (@ighalojude) on

It was recently speculated that the Chinese side's stance had 'softened' on the matter having initially been against a longer deal, but Goal now report that United have made significant progress.

Discussions were being held in order to allow Ighalo to see out the 2019/20 season, but now there is 'growing confidence' among the Red Devils that they could keep him on their books until January 2021.

It is noted, however, that it could still be the case that Ighalo simply sees out United's final Premier League run in - which is due to begin on 17 June - although the current stance is a positive one, meaning a longer stay is a possibility.

Bringing in the striker on deadline day in January meant United were forced to pay Shenhua a fee, and should they extend his stay then they will need to supplement the Chinese side with another cash installment.

Odion Ighalo
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Should Ighalo remain in the north west then he could add to the four-goal haul he's already amassed in just eight outings. Yet to find the back of the net in the top flight, he's scored twice in the Europa League as well as netting a brace in his FA Cup debut for the club.

For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!