MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United’s newest signing will not travel to a training camp in Spain during the Premier League’s midseason break because the club fears restrictions in place to combat the spread of a new virus in China will prevent him returning to England.
Odion Ighalo joined United in a deadline-day loan move from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, with the Nigerian arriving in Manchester last weekend.
The new type of coronavirus has infected more than 34,800 people globally and killed more than 700 – nearly all of them in China – since the first illnesses were detected in December.
“Odion will stay in Manchester because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club’s in-house TV station. “Because of the situation in China, we’re not sure if he’d be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again.
“He’s staying here, working with a personal coach (on an) individual program, and his family then can settle in England as well. That’s a plus. Of course, he might have liked to have come with the players and get to know them, but with the risk (of the potential tightening of border restrictions), we don’t want to take that.”
United, whose players will stay in Marbella in southern Spain when they head on their warm-weather training camp this weekend, described the decision as a “precautionary measure.”
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