Shanghai Shenhua have softened their stance on extending Odion Ighalo’s loan with Manchester United but time is against the Premier League side, sources have told ESPN.
United want to keep the Nigerian for the remainder of the season but privately insist the “ball is in Shanghai’s court” with the delayed Chinese Super League season set to start in June.
The initial deal agreed in January is due to expire this weekend and the two clubs will have to reach a fresh agreement for Ighalo to stay at Old Trafford.
Shanghai have been reluctant to sanction an extension but negotiations are ongoing.
Shanghai want Ighalo back for the start of their domestic campaign but there is confusion over whether he would immediately be allowed back into China.
Restrictions put in place on March 28 halted foreign nationals from entering the country in an effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak even if they hold valid visas.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to keep the 30-year-old in order to complete campaigns in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League.
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