Dimitar Berbatov believes that ​Manchester United will not feel the need to extend Odion Ighalo's contract if they bring in the likes of Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho.


Ighalo was a surprise deadline-day signing at Old Trafford in January when he joined on loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the current season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to bolster his attacking options in the January transfer window with Erling Haaland his top target, but negotiations fell through when United balked at demands from the striker's representatives.


Ighalo has scored four goals in eight appearances for United since his surprise arrival, but there seemed little chance that his move would be made permanent when he arrived.


However, his displays over the past gameweeks, and his goals, have made it a serious possibility, and one that the player would be thrilled to pursue.


United, however, are being linked with big-money moves for ​Tottenham's Kane and ​Borussia Dortmund's Sancho, Berbatov fears that this may mean Ighalo is the odd man out.



“If Ighalo continues how he has done so far, scoring goals and helping the team, then I think he should be given another contract, but saying that you need to weigh up the situation,” former United striker Berbatov told ​Goal.


“Sancho and Kane are two names being talked up with moves to the club at the moment, so you need to calculate what direction the club wants to go. Do they want to buy new strikers? If they do it would seem strange to keep Ighalo. With the current situation, I can’t see them spending too much and I think it would make sense for Ighalo to stay."


Berbatov concluded, “It wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep him around, I think Solskjaer needs to give him his honest thoughts. If he is going to stay, they will all start on an equal footing and if you train well and you score goals, you will play. I don’t think he will just want to be a back-up striker, nobody wants that, you want to play from the start.”


United are currently fifth in the ​Premier League table, and all but through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League having thumped LASK 5-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie.