Transfer news: Aouar to Liverpool, Ighalo deal in doubt
The latest transfer news has linked Liverpool with a move for Houssem Aouar and Man United could face a battle to keep Odion Ighalo at Old Trafford.
Starting with a possible incoming at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp’s runaway Premier League leaders have been linked with a few central midfielders in recent weeks and Lyon star Houssem Aouar is the latest.
According to French outlet L’Equipe, Aouar, 21, will be allowed to move on from Lyon in the upcoming transfer window (whenever that is) and with the French giants not in the UEFA Champions League next season due to the Ligue 1 table being calculated on a points-per-game basis, they will have to bring in funds in other ways. The report says that Memphis Depay could also be sold as Lyon look to reshape their squad and cash in on their star attacking talents.
Aouar has been linked with pretty much every top team in Europe and the French U21 international is versatile and can play anywhere across midfield. His ability on the ball and attacking instincts stand out and he has a bright future. But should that be at Liverpool? Naby Keita cannot stay fit while both Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are pushing towards the age of 30 with James Milner and Fabinho more defensive options in central midfield.
The obvious question this throws up is what does a potential move for Aouar mean for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future at Liverpool? He plays in the same position and it is fair to say his 2019-20 season has been topsy-turvy as he works his way back to being a regular.
Focusing on Man United, they are in a tough spot with loan signing Odion Ighalo according to our partners in the UK, Sky Sports.
His loan spell from Shanghai Shenhua ends on July 1 and the new Chinese Super League season is due to begin in July, so a new agreement will need to be made between Man United and his parent club for Ighalo to stay for the remainder of the 2019-20 season as it is due to resume in mid-June at the earliest.
Ighalo, 30, has scored four goals in eight appearances for Man United since he arrived on loan in January as emergency cover for injured striker Marcus Rashford. With the long suspension of the Premier League, perhaps Man United no longer need Ighalo as Rashford will be close to full fitness when games may return? The Nigerian striker has been the perfect back-up option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and it would be harsh to not keep him around for longer but it is clear Shanghai Shenhua would want extra compensation and that means a permanent deal.
Per the report, Shanghai Shenhua want $25 million for Ighalo and Newcastle United have already shown interest in a permanent move for the former Watford striker. Man United probably don’t need to sign Ighalo permanently but seem keen to keep him around on a loan deal at least for the rest of this season to help them with the possible PL, FA Cup and Europa League campaigns.