Dimitar Berbatov calls for transfer rule change if Man Utd lose Odion Ighalo

Dimitar Berbatov has called on the Premier League to implement a rule change that would allow Manchester United to sign a replacement for Odion Ighalo.

The Nigeria international has been a surprise hit at Old Trafford following his loan move from Shanghai Shenhua, scoring four goals in just eight appearances before the coronavirus crisis took hold.

Domestic competition is set to resume next month, despite the ongoing pandemic, but United could well be without the 30-year-old from as early as this week.

Ighalo’s current deal is set to expire on May 30 and United would have to negotiate fresh terms to extend his stay, but his parent club are insisting their player returns imminently with the Chinese Super League also planning to recommence in late June.

United have the option to make Ighalo’s move a permanent one but are unwilling to pay the necessary £20million for a player whose peak years are almost certainly behind him.

If Ighalo were to leave, however, former United striker Berbatov fears his old club will have been left at a significant disadvantage and should be able to make a further addition to their squad.

The Betfair ambassador said: ‘United need to know what is happening with him. If they know they will lose him, they need to find someone else to replace him.

‘If they haven’t already found a replacement, they need to find someone quickly, but if he stays his teammates get on well with him and he has Premier League experience which is a big plus.

‘For nine games, if they could come to an understanding and then he can go back, this would be the best option.

‘If a team is losing a loan player because of the situation, the federation should allow a team to get someone else because of the situation.

‘If Ighalo goes, United should be allowed to get a replacement, they are in a great place going into this final part of the season and they have a great chance of getting top four, but it will be very difficult as no one wants to join for nine games.

‘The best scenario is for them to come to an agreement to keep Ighalo for the few games, otherwise they will lose out on a player that can score goals in the race for the top four.’

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