Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo will not be joining his teammates on the mid-season training camp in Spain this week.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his squad are flying out for some warm weather training during the Premier League’s first-ever winter break, but will be without their new signing who will stay in Manchester.
This is because of the current situation in China as Ighalo is not guaranteed to clear immigration upon his return to the UK and the club don’t want to risk border restrictions tightening for travellers who have been in China within the past 14 days.
“Odion will stay in Manchester, because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,” Solskjaer said, as quoted by ManUtd.com.
“Because of the situation in China, we’re not sure if he’d be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again, so he’s staying here working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well. That’s a plus.
“Of course he might have liked to have come with the players and got to know them, but the risk [of potential border restrictions tightening], we don’t want to take that.”
It’s obviously frustrating for Ighalo that he can’t integrate immediately with his teammates ahead of the final few months of the season.
The Nigerian striker has signed on a five-month loan so has little time to make an impact at Old Trafford.
However, he will be able to settle in Manchester and will still be working with a personal coach to get back up to speed with English football.
Ighalo could make his debut for the Reds as early as next Monday against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.