Odion Ighalo has won the Manchester United’s March Goal-of-the-Month award, for his sparkling effort against LASK in the Europa League. The former Super Eagles top striker scored a stunning goal against the Austrian club, after some skilled ball juggling in the build-up, it was an effort that perhaps shut up the critics of his loan move to United, who are not poised to give Ighalo a permanent £100,000-a-week contract extension as claimed by Italian football journalist Nicolo Schira.
Ighalo had his United form cut short by the rampaging coronavirus, which has forced virtually all sporting activities postponements. He scored 32 percents of the votes beating Scott McTominay, whose memorable late goal against Manchester City received 26 per cent and Bruno Fernandes’s first strike from open play for the Reds, at Everton, finished third in the poll with 16 per cent. United coach Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is hoping that Ighalo will shun the £ 400,000-a-week offer from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to remain at Old Trafford. He is expected to return back in May to China’s Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
Football pundit Paul Merson urged United to keep Ighalo who has scored four goals in the brief spell. “ He’s been absolutely outstanding since he arrived at Old Trafford. “I know he hasn’t played a lot of football but when he’s come off the bench and when he has got some game time, he’s looked class. “He’s said all the right things since joining Manchester United. He’s turned around enough times and said he’s dreamed of playing for United so if they do offer him a permanent deal, I can’t see him turning it down.”
In this light, Manchester United is reportedly set to offer Odion Ighalo a three-year deal worth €18 million (about N7.5 billion), in a bid to keep the former Super Eagles’ striker on a permanent basis.
The new deal would see the star striker earn around £100,000-a-week, which is significantly less than what Ighalo earns in the Chinese Super League where the Red Devils loaned him from Shanghai Shenhua Football Club.
Recently, the Chinese club offered Ighalo a massive pay rise that would see him pocket a staggering £400,000 per week in a desperate move to recall him from the Old Trafford.
An Italian football journalist, Nicolo Schira, disclosed that Manchester United are, however, confident of completing the permanent transfer of the Nigerian striker in the coming days with a buy-out offer to his parent club worth €15million.
Schira wrote on Twitter: “Manchester United want to sign on a permanent deal the Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo.
“Red Devils are working to buy him for €15M. For Ighalo is ready 3-years contract with a wages of €6M a year.
“#MUFC are confident to close, even if Shanghai Shenhua offer more.”
Ighalo’s parent club are reportedly prepared to table a contract extension worth around £400,000-a-week but Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson expects the United fan to remain at Old Trafford.