Loan fee may have been a big problem as Manchester United appeared to have failed in their bid to agree a new loan deal for striker Odion Ighalo. The original deal ended on Sunday.

The club had been locked in talks with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua – Ighalo’s parent club.

But United were unable to announce an extension before his current loan agreement expired on Sunday night. 

According to Daily Mail, Ighalo’s loan fee has been a problem for United and a new deal has not yet been agreed.

Ighalo’s agent, Atta Aneke, revealed the clubs had discussed a loan extension until the end of January 2021, when the 30-year-old would return to Shanghai. 

But no agreement had been made before Sunday’s deadline. 

Ighalo initially joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in a shock deadline-day move in January after the club had missed out on signing Norwegian star Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund.

But the former Watford forward has done himself no harm at Old Trafford by scoring four times in eight appearances prior to the suspension of the Premier League due to the coronavirus pandemic.

His memorable strikes so far in a United shirt have included a stunning volley in the Europa League win over LASK Linz as well as a double in the FA Cup against Derby to help his side through to the quarter-final stage.

Ighalo’s current contract in China expires in December 2022, but Shanghai reportedly want to keep him until at least December 2024.

Sky Sports have reported that Shanghai’s original stance was that they would only agree to a loan extension if an obligation to buy was inserted into any new deal, with Ighalo likely to cost upwards of £20million.

However, with border restrictions potentially preventing Ighalo from returning to China in time for the new season due to the pandemic, the same outlet reported that Shenhua appear to have softened their stance.

The outlet claimed that the Chinese Super Club will now allow him to extend his stay at Old Trafford on the condition he signs a new contract.