Paul Merson, has said he would be shocked if Manchester United striker, Odion Ighalo, turn down a permanent move to the Red Devil and return to Shanghai Shenhua at the end of the season after being offered £400,000-a-week wages by the Chinese club.
Shanghai Shenhua has not given up hope of Ighalo returning to China and has offered the former Watford star £400,000-a-week wages to stay on with them.
Ighalo joined the Man United last January transfer window on a six-month loan deal from Shenhua.
The Nigerian striker has scored four goals in eight appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side so far this season, but Merson believes the 30-year-old cannot turn down a permanent move to stay at Old Trafford even if it means for him to accept a pay cut.
“Now I can say Odion Ighalo has been outstanding since he joined Man United,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“He hasn’t played many matches for Manchester United, but when he’s come off the bench and when he has got some game time, he looked class.
“Manchester United will have to make a hard decision Manchester United regarding his future at the club because if you give him a new contract, can he perform again that next season?
“When you go to a club on loan, you have got that hunger of wanting to secure a permanent transfer and prove everybody in the club right and everybody outside the club wrong.
“If you are going on the form he has shown since he arrived at the club in January, it’s going to be hard to get rid of him.
“Don’t worry about the new mega-money offers from Shenhua. Ighalo has said all the right things since joining Manchester United.
“He has said it many times that he has dreamed of playing for Man United, so if the Red Devils do offer him a permanent deal, I cannot see him turning it down.
“Everything has gone right for him so far, and if Man United does offer him a chance to stay, I’d be shocked if he walked away,” he said.