Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo is set to become the most expensive African footballer ever.
His Chinese parent club, Shanghai Shenhua has placed on the table a $400,000 per week contract extension offer. The fee, which would tie him to the club till 2024, would not only see him become the highest paid African player; but would also bring an end to his stint with Premier League giant, Manchester United.
In fact, Shanghai Shenhua has rejected United’s request to extend Ighalo’s loan deal for another three months.
United signed the former Watford striker on a six months’ loan deal for £3m; following an injury to England star, Marcus Rashford.
Thereafter, Ighalo, 30, joined United on the January transfer deadline day this year. After a slow start, the Nigerian forward has quickly wormed his way into the hearts of United’s fans. The burly striker had come up with some excellent performances in front of goal; scoring four goals in eight matches.
Representatives of Ighalo have indicated that the striker wants to continue playing for United. However, the Chinese club have ordered the player to return for training ahead of the resumption of the suspended league campaign. Consequently, Ighalo may have played his last game as a United player. Indeed, his loan deal with the serial Premier League champions elapses on Monday, May 31; unless a middle ground can be reached between both sides.
ALSO READ: Ighalo mulls £6m pay cut to remain at United
Meanwhile, Manchester United may have to cough up about £20million to get Ighalo on a permanent deal. This is reportedly the sum Shanghai Shenhua are willing to accept for the release of the striker. However, the deal cannot go through until the beginning of the summer transfer window in August.
The development has ignited reactions from football fans on social media. Indeed, many have taken to the micro-blogging site, Twitter to comment.
Equally important, 1st News has put together some of the reactions below.
Shanghai Shenhua have offered Odion Ighalo a new contract worth more than £75m over four years #mulive [times]
— utdreport (@utdreport) May 25, 2020
BBC are reporting that Manchester United are still trying to convince Shanghai Shenhua to let Ighalo stay until the end of the season ?
— StretfordPaddock (@StretfordPaddck) May 25, 2020
Ighalo's new salary is 190 million naira PER WEEK, 760 million per month… I'm sure even rituals cannot bring this kind of money
— кιηg σғ вσүs™ (@OMOTI_JOJO) May 25, 2020
See how much Odion Ighalo will be earning per week when he goes back to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua This week pic.twitter.com/P1ydVdsQQv
— A boy Called Anu?? (@Oats001) May 25, 2020
Shanghai Shenhua has asked Ighalo to rejoin them next week.
Man Utd fans:pic.twitter.com/uIa99SDNNA
— Troll F̶o̶o̶t̶b̶a̶l̶l̶ Bundesliga (@TrollFootball) May 25, 2020
Would be such a shame for Odion Ighalo’s loan to end in these circumstances, but he can take pride that he played for the club he supports, scored goals and quickly became a fan favourite in his short time here.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) May 25, 2020
Odion Ighalo's loan deal runs out this Friday and Shanghai Shenhua have turned down our request to extend it.
At least his dream came true to play for United ??pic.twitter.com/ILIJ9ecRjb
— UTFR ?? (@ManUtd_HQ) May 25, 2020
Ighalo became the First Nigerian to play for Man Utd, played for the Club of his Childhood Dreams & would go on to Earn £400K (N190M) a Week in China. He"ll become the highest paid African Footballer ever
It's really FAVOUR Over LABOUR
— King Nonny ? (@Zaddy_nomso) May 25, 2020
We go miss Ighalo ?? ?
Our joy na the fact say e score for Manchester United. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/as6SgVGxU9
— Man United in Pidgin (@ManUtdInPidgin) May 25, 2020
Gutted for Ighalo if he has to leave this week. But what an impact he has had on the club after joining in January. Him and Bruno Fernandes have been exemplary. A boyhood dream fulfilled and some.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) May 25, 2020
Ighalo is going to leave Man Utd this week and you’re feeling sad, LOL! Somebody that’s going to be earning £400K a week in China.
— Omoniyi Israel (@__Omoissy) May 25, 2020