Man Utd open to making Odion Ighalo's transfer permanent from Shanghai Shenhua if striker impresses in next four months
MANCHESTER UNITED are open to signing Odion Ighalo permanently if the striker impresses during his loan spell from Shanghai Shenhua.
Former Watford striker Ighalo, 30, arrived in Manchester on deadline day last month in a shock loan move as United desperately searched for striking options.
Marcus Rashford is currently sidelined with a back injury while Anthony Martial has just eight league goals this season.
Despite only signing until the end of the season, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Ighalo he can earn himself a permanent move should he perform on and off the pitch for United.
Solskjaer said: "It's a loan, but 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, since you asked, 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."
United shipped forwards Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan this summer and decided not to bring in a replacement, a decision that has cost Solskjaer this term.
The Old Trafford boss confirmed Sanchez will return to Manchester next season, but after finally securing the signing of Bruno Fernandes last month, a goalscorer was top priority before the January sales ended.
United failed in moves to bring in ex-player Josh King and Danny Ings but Solskjaer insisted Ighalo was not signed out of panic.
He explained: "Don't go down that route now. 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 goalscorer, so he'll do all right."
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