Manchester United legend Gary Neville has advised Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against the purchase of Odion Ighalo this summer, as he doubts the Nigerian is worth £20million.
Ighalo, 30, signed for United on deadline day in January in a shock loan move from Shanghai Shenhua and the move drew criticism, particularly as Solskjaer had been keen on Norwegian wonderkid Erling Haaland.
However, the Nigerian international silenced his doubters with a string of fine performances for his boyhood club and Solskjaer is keen to make the move a permanent one after the Nigerian scored four goals in eight appearances.
But that decision was made before the coronavirus pandemic hit and club finances are set to be hit in a way they never have before this summer.
With finances tightening across Europe, Neville doubts United can afford to spend £20m on a back-up forward and he’s told Solskjaer to back out of a move.
Speaking on Instagram Live, Neville answered a question on Ighalo’s future. “Is ighalo worth £20m?”
“Probably not in this market. He may have been if he continued before scoring goals but you probably don’t need now to spend £20m,” said Neville.
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward insisted last month that the club are not immune from the financial impact of the virus and said there will be implications at Old Trafford like there will be elsewhere.
Solskjaer is keen on signing £120m-rated Dortmund star Jadon Sancho as well as Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, but Woodward says talk of big money transfers are unrealistic.
“Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer,” Woodward said.
“As ever our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.”