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What Next For Odion Ighalo?

What Next For Odion Ighalo?

Manchester United are flying high at the top of the English Premier League table, and remain the only side to still have an unbeaten away record after recently drawing with Liverpool and beating Fulham.

That has seen their odds for the Premier League title shorten drastically, with United now 6/1 to win the league with most bookies. Elsewhere in the Premier League betting, Manchester City are the hot favourites at 1/2, while defending champions Liverpool are 9/2.

Theater of Dreams

However, while the Red Devils have enjoyed finding the back of the net out on the pitch in recent weeks, one of their leading strikers has seemingly gone missing off it.

Odion Ighalo was one of Manchester United’s biggest ever surprise signings when he joined the club on-loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in January 2020, and after going on to score a handful of much needed goals for United that season, his deal was extended until January 31st 2021.

With just a matter of days now remaining on that current deal he has made just four appearances for Manchester United this season, with his latest coming in the 89th minute of a Champions League tie against PSG on the 2nd December.

He’s also failed to score any of those four appearances this term, meaning his last goal in a United shirt came back in June, when he scored the opener in a 2-1 FA Cup win against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

In fairness to Ighalo, there were few Manchester United supporters that expected him to really deliver at Old Trafford, but still, they will be thankful of the attacking options that he brought at a time when United were struggling on the injury front.

Given their current form, those fears are now longer for the United faithful, and with current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer securing the services of Edinson Cavani in October, its seems there is no chance of Ighalo’s switch to Old Trafford becoming permanent for the Nigerian international

Related: Ighalo: I Can’t Say No To Dream Man United Move

So, where could he be heading next?

Back To China

The obvious next step for Ighalo is to pack his bags in Manchester and head back to the club that allowed him to make his dream move to the Theatre of Dreams, as after all, he is contracted to them until the end of 2021.

Shanghai Greenland Shenhua have profited handsomely from his loan deal to Old Trafford with United paying the majority of his £300,000 a week wages and even giving a £6 million fee to the Chinese club in order to extend his stay in the summer.

However, the lure of China seems to have waned slightly over the past 12 months and it’s rumoured that now Ighalo has had his taste of the big time in Manchester, that he might be more keen on making a switch to the States, following in the footsteps of other former United players in Wayne Rooney and David Beckham.

Party in the USA

Several media outlets are already reporting that a move to the MLS could well be on the cards for Ighalo, with several clubs rumoured to have already been in contact with the striker.

His representatives have done little to quash those stories either, with a chance of him even making a move across the Premier League still looking like a possibility.

They told BBC Sport Africa: “I can confirm that some Premier League clubs, two teams outside of England and some clubs in the Middle East have made formal enquiries.

“Of course, he said that the MLS could be interesting, but that is just an option outside of the strong interest received so far.

“For now he’s still a Man United player on loan from China where he still has a contract. He could stay in England where his family is based or try something new because he has many options to mull over.”

 

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