Manchester United are prepared to let all players out on loan extend their temporary deals to cover the remainder of the season, which has been delayed by two months due to the coronavirus crisis.
That includes Dean Henderson, Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez, but a deal in each case would have to be individually agreed with Sheffield United, Roma and Inter respectively.
Ordinarily loans deal would run until 30 June, but with football on hold since March as a result of coronavirus, the season will extend well into July – assuming it can be finished at all.
Clubs have the opportunity to agree temporary extensions with any of their players who are out of contract on 30 June until midnight on the final day of the season, whenever it may be, and that can also include loan deals as long as all three parties agree.
There have been speculative suggestions of the possibility of underhand tactics when it comes to loans, especially if a parent club refusing to temporarily extend a deal and demanding their player back directly weakens another side.
That could have been the case with Henderson and Sheffield United, who are remarkably competing against United for a potential Champions League place.
But ESPN has reported that the Old Trafford club will let players extend their loans. It is said that Sheffield United are ‘confident’ of being able to keep Henderson for the rest of the season, while the report adds that Roma have already let their wish to keep Smalling be known.
ESPN suggests that the Sanchez situation is more ‘complicated’ because of his relative peripheral role at Inter. That is largely because of an injury that ruled him out for close to three months, although five of his last six Serie A appearances after retuning were from the bench.
Goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira has no other option but to return to Manchester from his loan at Hearts after the Scottish season was officially abandoned this week.
United will also have to negotiate their own loan extension if they wish to keep Odion Ighalo, whose loan from Shanghai Shenhua is currently scheduled to finish at the end of this month.
The latest reporting on Ighalo’s immediate future suggests talks to extend his loan have stalled because United are at an ‘impasse’ with Shanghai. It is thought the Chinese Super League club want Ighalo back for the delayed start of their 2020 season.
When Ighalo joined United on the final day of the January transfer window, the 2020 CSL campaign had already been delayed indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
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