New January transfer signing Odion Ighalo just can’t catch a break.
Multiple reports including one from The Sun claim the Nigerian striker has essentially been quarantined by Manchester United training staff over fears of the coronavirus and is forced to train at a taekwondo gym that the British Olympic team uses.
The club said that “it is simply a precautionary measure as the situation continues to be monitored”.
“I can confirm Odion has been training at the taekwondo centre and has not been to Carrington,” his agent Oladele Salami told the Star, as per The Week. “The team are back on Saturday and he will join up with them then.”
Ighalo played in the Chinese Super League for Shanghai Shenhua before coming to terms with United in January at the early start of the virus outbreak. Having tested negative for the disease he didn’t make the trip with the team to Spain for winter break training on fears he might not be able to fly back because of the coronavirus concern.
“Odion will stay in Manchester, because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told MUTV, as quoted by The Guardian.
“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.
“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.”
The Times can reveal that Ighalo is yet to set foot in United’s Carrington training base since signing last month because of concerns over the virus that has killed more than 1,000 people worldwide.
We can only hope that all is well with Ighalo and that he can link up with his new team-mates when they return from their winter break in Marbella.
Ighalo will be eager to get started being a United fan since his childhood. This is a chance to live his dream.