Paul Merson has stated that he would shocked if Odion Ighalo were to leave Manchester United, despite the big money offer on the table from China.
The Nigerian joined the Red Devils back in January on loan, scoring four goals in his first three starts for the club. Having initially arrived as emergency cover for the injured Marcus Rashford, Ighalo has quickly impressed and made a name for himself.
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Such form actually led onto his parent club, Shanghai Shenhua, offering a new two year contraction extension worth more than £400,000 a week (via Sky Sports), with hope of keeping the player on a permanent basis.
Despite the lucrative money on offer, Merson believes Ighalo will remain in Manchester. Speaking to Sky Sports, the pundit said: “Don’t worry about the new mega money offers in China. 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.”
Such comments relate to the striker’s surprise situation, as not many would have expected the 30-year-old to sign for United. He left Watford for China back in 2017, describing his recent move to the club as a ‘dream’ (via BBC).
Ighalo has certainly impressed though, not just with his mentioned goal-scoring record, but his all-round play up-top. He has offered United a new dimension of attack going forward, holding up the ball and bringing his teammates into play.
Merson has cited that such form will make it ‘hard’ for the club to get rid of him, also stating: “Everything’s gone right for him so far and if United do offer him a chance to stay, I’d be shocked if he walked away.”
Man United are yet to make an official stance on Ighalo’s next permanent move, but it will certainly be a story to follow, when the transfer window next opens.