The Nigerian frontman linked up with the Red Devils in January on an initial loan agreement, but he could be kept on at Old Trafford beyond the summer

Odion Ighalo has been a “breath of fresh air” at Manchester United, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with there every chance that he will be snapped up on a permanent basis over the summer.

The Nigerian striker linked up with the Red Devils during the January transfer window on an initial loan agreement.

He was acquired on deadline day as Solskjaer scrambled around to bring added firepower into his ranks at Old Trafford.

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Ighalo boasts useful Premier League experience from a previous spell in England at Watford and is a proven performer at domestic and international level.

The 30-year-old frontman is also a boyhood United fan desperate to make his mark at the Theatre of Dreams and earn an extended stay.

Solskjaer is willing to consider that, telling Sky Sports: “It doesn’t hurt [living the dream] but he’s here on merit, he’s here because he is a goalscorer and a different type of striker for us.

“We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who knows?

“He’s come in as a breath of fresh air as well. He had chances in his five minutes against Chelsea, he scored against Bruges, he had chances against Watford, he had a very good save [from a shot] against Everton – there have been good saves, he doesn’t miss the target very often.

“Even for Anthony (Martial), Mason (Greenwood) and Marcus (Rashford) to learn that it is where the sharks are swimming. It’s comfortable outside the box and you can have a few shots. It’s in there where it might be a bit tougher and you might get hurt – that’s where you get goals.”

Ighalo is not the only loan star set to give United a big decision to make at the end of the season.

The Red Devils allowed Dean Henderson to head elsewhere in search of regular football once again last summer, as he returned to Sheffield United for a second stint at Bramall Lane.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper has continued to impress with the Blades, leading to suggestions that he could be brought back into the Red Devils fold as competition for David de Gea.

Solskjaer said of a highly-rated talent that has made no secret of his desire to become United’s No.1: “That’s Man United!

“You should have a nice problem, you should have two or three challenging for the same positions. That’s what we are trying to get to.”