According to Sky Sports journalist James Cooper, Odion Ighalo’s confinement from Manchester United’s training ground has been part of the plan all along.
The Nigerian striker joined the club on a loan deal until the end of the season from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.
However, a report from The Daily Mirror claimed that Ighalo was banned from the club’s training complex over fears he could spread the coronavirus, despite not testing positive for it.
But Cooper has provided a major update on the nature of the situation, insisting that it is nothing out of the ordinary. He said: “I think there’s been a lot of hysteria quite naturally surrounding the coronavirus, but what Manchester United have done is precautionary.
“Manchester United quite naturally felt it was right and wise for him to train away from Carrington. There are a lot of reasons for that, clearly there’s a risk of infection, apparently very minor, and it’s an elite training base.
“United certainly think that they have far exceeded the government on this, but they are working sensibly and practicably in this situation where of course you’re looking at a league training centre and you don’t want any risk of infection. Odion Ighalo has been doing his fitness work in Manchester on his own and that has been the plan all along.”
Naturally, United are seemingly keen to take every safety measure possible in order to contain the issue and not risk it developing into anything far more serious.
Football should take a back-seat when it comes to matters like these, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are rightly following the protocol regarding Ighalo. If that means not being part of the group at the winter break, and simply getting on with his own fitness work, then so be it.
It may not be ideal for either Ighalo or United for him to be missing out on valuable time in terms of integrating himself within the squad. But it is absolutely the right thing to do.