Friday, 31 January 2020

Manchester United sure of completing a loan deal for Odion Ighalo

Odion Ighalo left Watford for a move to China in 2017

Manchester United are growing confident of completing a loan deal for former Watford striker Odion Ighalo before the transfer deadline.

United have been heavily linked with Bournemouth's Josh King and Shanghai Shenhua front-man Ighalo, 30.

Earlier BBC Solent learned any pursuit of Bournemouth's King had ended.

But the club are still talking to alternative options and, while there is no deal done, there is a growing feeling United will loan Ighalo.

Ighalo is currently in China, which could complicate the completion of any deal before the deadline at 23:00 GMT.

He scored 39 goals in 99 matches for Watford between 2014 and 2017.

After two seasons with Chinese side Changchun Yatai he moved to Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua and has scored 10 times in 19 games.

His form for his country has been eye-catching - finishing as top scorer in African Cup of Nations qualifying, with seven goals, before scoring five at the tournament during the summer.

Earlier on Friday Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said he was "reluctant" to let 28-year-old King leave but would "not deny" reports linking the Norway international with a move to United.

King joined United at the age of 16 in 2008 but - after making two senior appearances - joined Blackburn five years later before joining Bournemouth in 2015.

At his news conference on Friday, Howe said: "I love Josh as a player and person. I know what Manchester United means to him with his history with the club, so I understand his position."

United have been widely linked with a move for a striker and have currently completed the biggest deal of the January transfer window in signing midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon for an initial £47m.

On Friday, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he "doesn't think" the club will sign more players before the deadline.

Solskjaer has previously said that Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo would not be leaving Old Trafford this month but Young has moved to Inter Milan, while Rojo has gone on loan to former club Estudiantes in his native Argentina.

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