United to pay £10.5m to keep Ighalo

Manchester United have extended Odion Ighalo’s loan until the end of January, with United agreeing a £6m fee with Shanghai Shenhua and continuing to pay just under half of Ighalo’s £300,000-a-week wages.

The extension comes after problems over the player’s return to China convinced the Chinese Super League club – who will receive a total of £10.5m, with the £6m loan fee and £130,000-a-week salary combined – to let him stay at Old Trafford.

There is no option or obligation for United to buy the 30-year-old striker when his new deal runs out on January 31.

Shanghai had demanded Ighalo’s return after his initial four-month loan at United expired at midnight on Sunday, but both clubs confirmed on Monday that a compromise had been reached.

The breakthrough in lengthy negotiations was helped by a further delay to the Chinese Super League season which still has no start date in place.

United’s hand was also strengthened after China told foreign nationals late last week that there will be no visas allowing them to return to the country until October.

Shanghai have offered Ighalo a contract extension until 2024 on improved terms of £400,000-a-week, but the player was keen to stay at United – the club he supported as a boy – after scoring four goals in eight games since arriving on loan in January.