United remains in talks with the Chinese club about extending Ighalo’s loan which currently ends on Sunday.
Border restrictions may prevent Ighalo from returning to China in time for the start of the new season in June. If he can’t return, the club will look to bring in a temporary replacement.
Shanghai Shenhua’s original stance was that they would only agree to extend his loan if an obligation to buy was incorporated into the deal. Ighalo would be likely to cost upwards of £20million.
It is now thought Shanghai Shenhua will expect Ighalo to sign a new contract with them as a condition of him being allowed to extend his stay at Old Trafford.
Ighalo’s current deal in China is up in December 2022. The offer on the table is worth £400,000 a week and would run until December 2024.
The striker joined United in the January window and scored four goals in eight games before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful the club can extend his loan spell so he can “finish off what he started”.
“The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
“We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.
“It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us.”