MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 08: Odion Ighalo of Manchester United celebrates at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 8, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo is set to become the most expensive African footballer ever.
His Chinese parent club, Shanghai Shenhua has placed on the table a $400,000 per week contract extension offer. The fee, which would tie him to the club till 2024, would not only see him become the highest paid African player; but would also bring an end to his stint with Premier League giant, Manchester United.
In fact, Shanghai Shenhua has rejected United’s request to extend Ighalo’s loan deal for another three months.
United signed the former Watford striker on a six months’ loan deal for £3m; following an injury to England star, Marcus Rashford.
Thereafter, Ighalo, 30, joined United on the January transfer deadline day this year. After a slow start, the Nigerian forward has quickly wormed his way into the hearts of United’s fans. The burly striker had come up with some excellent performances in front of goal; scoring four goals in eight matches.
Representatives of Ighalo have indicated that the striker wants to continue playing for United. However, the Chinese club have ordered the player to return for training ahead of the resumption of the suspended league campaign.
Consequently, Ighalo may have played his last game as a United player. Indeed, his loan deal with the serial Premier League champions elapses on Monday, May 31; unless a middle ground can be reached between both sides.
Meanwhile, Manchester United may have to cough up about £20million to get Ighalo on a permanent deal. This is reportedly the sum Shanghai Shenhua are willing to accept for the release of the striker. However, the deal cannot go through until the beginning of the summer transfer window in August.
The development has ignited reactions from football fans on social media. Indeed, many have taken to the micro-blogging site, Twitter to comment.