By tataafo.com – 12th May, 2020
Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo maintained his fitness levels ahead of a possible restart to the season by training in a Cheshire park on Monday.
The Nigerian striker, dressed in United training gear, was pictured doing sprint drills on the grass in readiness for a potential resumption of the Premier League next month.
Under the Premier League’s Project Restart proposals, players will return to full training later this month with a view to restarting matches behind closed doors at neutral venues from June 12.
And Ighalo, who scored four goals in eight matches for United before the season was suspended, is clearly determined to hit the ground running.
However, United’s efforts to keep Ighalo have been thrown into doubt after his parent club in China, Shanghai Shenhua, demanded a permanent transfer worth in excess of £20million.
Ighalo’s loan to Old Trafford technically expires on May 31 but United are keen to extend it so he can continue playing for them once the season resumes.
However, Shanghai want their player back in time for the start of the Chinese Super League campaign, which begins in July, and will only allow him to stay if a permanent deal can be agreed.
Ighalo was valued at £15m when he first arrived on deadline day in January for a loan fee of £3m, and United were ready to pay it.
But after making such a strong initial impression, Shanghai are demanding more for the 30-year-old former Watford striker.
United were waiting to see when the Premier League will restart before opening talks because they have been paying £130,000-a-week of Ighalo’s salary during the two-month shutdown.
But they appear to be preparing for the possibility that he will leave, with club sources highlighting Marcus Rashford’s return to fitness from a back injury as the main reason Ighalo was signed as a stop-gap in the first place.