Ghana's No. 1

Solskjaer admits Ighalo could make permanent Man Utd switch if he impresses

Published on: 16 February 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied that Manchester United's deadline day signing of Odion Ighalo was an act of desperation – and left the door open for the Nigeria striker to make his loan move permanent.

Ighalo is set to be in United's squad to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday after training with his new teammates for the first time on Sunday.

The 30-year-old missed last week's training camp in Marbella and even stayed away from the club's Carrington base due to concerns over the coronavirus following his move from Shanghai Shenhua.

United have been criticised for leaving it until the final hours of the January transfer window to sign a player who has spent the last three years in China since leaving Watford.

Asked if it smacked of desperation, Solskjaer said: 'He's a loan player that we're very happy with having here.

'Hopefully he'll prove to you what I think he will. He's a proven goal scorer so he'll do alright.'

On the unlikely prospect of boyhood United fan Ighalo making a permanent move to Old Trafford, Solskjaer added: 'When you're in the door, and if you impress, it gives you a chance.

'That's exactly the same for everyone who signs, if it's permanent or if it's a loan. If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, of course there's a chance we'll look at extending things and signing.

'That doesn't just go for Odion but, yes, his incentive is to play as well as he can and it's up to us to make sure he wants to stay if we want him.'

Having beaten Chelsea in the Premier League and Carabao Cup already this season, United go to Stamford Bridge with two new signings in Ighalo and Bruno Fernandes to play a Chelsea team who didn't add to their squad in January.

'It's not just us and Chelsea but I'm very happy with the two guys we've brought in,' said Solskjaer.

'To finally have got Bruno over the line after following him for so long and just seeing what he can give us has been great, and it will be great to integrate Odion as well.'


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