Manchester United’s new signing, Odion Ighalo will not attend the club’s winter training camp in Spain over fears that he could be denied entry back into the UK because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Manchester United squad flew to Marbella in Spain on Saturday for a warm-weather camp, but Ighalo stayed back at Old Trafford because the club thinks he could be a subject to any restrictions placed on travellers who have come from China since the outbreak of coronavirus.
Speaking to MUTV, United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained Ighalo’s exclusion was “simply a precautionary measure as the situation continues to be monitored”.
:”Odion will stay in Manchester because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,”
“Because of the situation in China, we’re not sure if he’d be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again, so he’s staying here working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well.
“Of course he might have liked to have come with the players and got to know them, but the risk [of travel restrictions tightening], we don’t want to take that.”
The 30-year-old Nigeria striker, who is currently in Manchester, will stay in England “on a personal training and fitness programme”.
“He’s staying here working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well. That’s a plus,” Ole added.
A club statement also reads: “The club can also confirm that, due to the current situation in China, it has been decided that new signing Odion Ighalo will not travel to Spain as it is not guaranteed that he’d clear UK immigration on return should border restrictions tighten on travellers who’ve been in China within the past 14 days.”
The decision is a huge blow to Manchester United, who signed Ighalo with a view to him making an immediate impact.
It now means he will have very limited time to train alongside his new team-mates.