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Manchester United set to sign Ighalo in £15m permanent deal

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Manchester United set to sign Ighalo in £15m permanent deal

Manchester United now plan on signing Odion Ighalo on a permanent basis as they’re unsure if the striker would be able to play for the club again under the current circumstances of his loan deal due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports metro.co.uk.

The former Watford striker was a shock signing on deadline day in January and he was only intended to be a stop-gap before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was handed significant funds to sign a striker in the summer.

However, the 30-year-old was in a rich vein of form before the Premier League season was postponed, scoring four goals in his first eight appearances for the club.

The season has been postponed until April 29th but it’s extremely likely that there will be further delays as the UK is believed to be some way off the ‘peak’ of the covid-19 pandemic.

Ighalo’s loan deal runs until May 31 and cannot be extended, meaning United face the prospect of the Nigerian leaving before playing for the club again.

That’s not something that Solskjaer wants to risk and the Daily Mail claim United are going to sign Ighalo for £15 million.

Shanghai Shenhua are open to selling the Nigerian, who is on £300,000-a-week at the club.
Speaking last month, Solskjaer hinted at a permanent deal.

“He will improve and get better,’ said the United boss.

“He has the qualities we saw in him that we needed. And we will still need those qualities next season — so let’s see what we will do.”

Sources close to the player have indicated that the Nigerian would be open to making his loan deal permanent, should the club want to keep him, but the Covid-19 situation has complicated matters.

The contract, which was agreed with the player and his parent club Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day, was enough to see Ighalo stay until the end of the season and past a potential Europa League final.

However, it is now likely United would have to ask for special permission for an extension to his deal with the 2019-20 campaign, if it resumes, likely to run past the end of May.

“We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who knows? He’s come in like a breath of fresh air as well,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

“He had chances in his five minutes against Chelsea, he scored against Bruges, he had chances against Watford, he had a very good save [from a shot] against Everton – there have been good saves, he doesn’t miss the target very often.

“Even for Anthony (Martial), Mason (Greenwood) and Marcus to learn that it is where the sharks are swimming. It’s comfortable outside the box and you can have a few shots.

“It’s in there where it might be a bit tougher and you might get hurt – that’s where you get goals.”

The 30-year-old refused to be drawn on his future last week when he was asked by The Sun about potentially staying at Old Trafford.

He said: “Talking about other things now will not only be selfish but terribly insensitive. I don’t even think about it. The challenge before us now is not a football one, but a global one.”

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Covid-19: Nigerian govt shuts down all national stadia

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COVID-19: Nigerian govt raises alarm over fraudulent Ransomware app'

The Federal Government has ordered the complete shutdown of the four National Stadia across the country in a bid to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, Mrs Blessing Lere-Adams and made available to THE WITNESS.

They are MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja; Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Liberty Stadium, Ibadan and National Statdium, Surulere-Lagos.

“The general public by this information and directive are advised that these facilities will not be available till further notice.

“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and other stakeholders are putting necessary measures in place to curb and eliminate the Pandemic in Nigeria,” the statement said.

It will be recalled that on Tuesday March 17, the federal government through the ministry of youth and sports development announced the indefinite suspension of the 2020 National Sports Festival which was due to hold in Benin City, Edo State from March 22 to April 1.

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BREAKING: Chelsea player tests positive for Coronavirus

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BREAKING: Chelsea player tests positive for Coronavirus
Callum Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for Coronavirus, leading the Blues to enact a partial closure of their training facilities.

Hudson-Odoi, is the first Premier League player to be confirmed to suffer from the virus, which has caused league closures in Spain, Italy and France as it was elevated to a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The 19-year-old winger has been sidelined with a separate injury after sustaining a hamstring problem and has not played since February 1.

The Premier League in contrast declared earlier on Thursday that the weekend’s fixtures would go ahead as planned, although a meeting was subsequently called with clubs for the next day following the news that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had been diagnosed with the illness.

Below is the full statement by the club on Friday morning:

“Chelsea men’s team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening. Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’s team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. These will include initially the full men’s team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff.

“It is expected that those who did not have close contact with Callum will return to work in the coming days. In the meantime, the men’s team building, one of several separate buildings at our training ground, will remain closed. The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal.

“Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution. However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation. Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.

“We will continue to adhere to Government and Public Health Guidelines with regard to our facilities and staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning. We will provide further updates as necessary via the club’s website.

“We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon.

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Coronavirus: Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta tests positive 

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Coronavirus: Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta tests positive 
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal FC manager

Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has tested positive for Coronavirus.

The Gunners have closed their training ground and club staff who had recent contact with Arteta will now self-isolate.

The Premier League will hold “an emergency club meeting” on Friday to discuss future fixtures.

“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly,” said Spaniard Arteta, 37. “I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”

Arsenal expects a “significant number of people” will self-isolate, including the “full first-team squad”.

BBC Sport understands all 20 Premier League clubs want to decide on a unified strategy, and one of the possible options that will be discussed at the meeting is postponing all 10 of this weekend’s scheduled fixtures.

“The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is,” said Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham.

“We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”

Arsenal are due to play at Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00 GMT).

Arsenal’s Premier League match with Manchester City on Wednesday was postponed as a “precautionary measure” and several Gunners players went into self-isolation after Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted coronavirus.

Arsenal said Marinakis, 52, met a number of their players when the Gunners hosted the Greek side in a Europa League match two weeks ago.

-BBC Sports

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