Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that January loan signing Odion Ighalo will not travel with the squad to Spain for their training camp.
As noted by BBC Sport, the 30-year-old has joined the Red Devils on loan for the rest of the season to try and give them a much-needed boost in the final third.
United have scored 36 goals in 25 Premier League games so far this season, giving them the second worst goalscoring tally of the top seven sides in the standings.
Further, with Marcus Rashford now sidelined with a back injury, they needed to hand Solskjaer a boost for the rest of the season and will hope Ighalo is capable of providing it.
However, as confirmed by the Norwegian tactician, their new recruit will not make the trip to Spain to train with the rest of the squad as potential immigration issues in light of the coronavirus outbreak in China could complicate his return to England.
“Odion will stay in Manchester, because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,“ Solskjaer said, as per the club’s official site. ”Because of the situation in China, we’re not sure if he’d be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again, so he’s staying here working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well. That’s a plus.
“Of course he might have liked to have come with the players and got to know them, but the risk [of potential border restrictions tightening], we don’t want to take that.”
It’s a balanced outlook from Solskjaer as ultimately he can take the positives from leaving Ighalo behind to work on his fitness and get settled in Manchester ahead of the return of competitive football.
That said, he would surely have preferred to have him out in Spain with the rest of the squad to build chemistry and understanding, so that he can hit the ground running against Chelsea on February 17.
It doesn’t appear as though that will be possible now though, and so Ighalo will hope to make the most of his time working at Carrington to be as ready as possible when the squad returns.