Odion Ighalo will not go on Manchester United’s training camp to Spain because the club fears travel restrictions will prevent him returning to England.
Ighalo, 30, touched down in Manchester last weekend following his deadline-day loan switch from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.
The coronavirus has claimed 722 lives and restrictions could be placed on travellers who have been in mainland China within the past fortnight.
“Odion will stay in Manchester, because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,“ manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told MUTV.
“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, individual programme 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 potential border restrictions tightening], we don’t want to take that.”
United, who will stay in Marbella when they head on their warm-weather training camp this weekend, described the decision as a “precautionary measure”.
Solskjaer confirmed that Paul Pogba, who is battling an ankle issue, and Marcus Rashford (back) will not travel, but Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe are set to join up with the squad.
“Scotty has done better in his recovery than we thought, so we will take him with us,” added Solskjaer.
“Hopefully he can join in the training sessions and Axel as well, he’ll join in, so that’s two positives and it’s a good chance for them to use this time with the players.”
United will next be in action when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea a week on Monday.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd)February 8, 2020
They will then take on Club Brugge in the opening leg of their last-32 Europa League clash.
Solskjaer added: “Of course, we come back and we kick on. We want to get results.
“Towards the end, before this break, we played okay and didn’t concede too many goals. But we didn’t create chances and missed that little bit of spark – maybe because of the mental tiredness.
“Physically, they did really well in every aspect of the games but mentally, now, we kick on.”