Sheffield United likely to seek clarification from China about the small print of striker's loan deal

Sheffield United will monitor events at Old Trafford, where their namesakes from Manchester are attempting to extend Odion Igahalo’s loan from Shanghai Shenhua despite running into opposition from officials at the Chinese club.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 4:48 pm

The outcome of the dispute, which is taking place ahead of the new Chinese Super League season, interests officials at Bramall Lane because Richairo Zivkovic - the former Ajax striker - joined Chris Wilder’s side on a temporary contract in January from Changchun Yatai in January.

Although United’s position is subtly different to the one Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s employers find themselves in - Wilder confirmed the deal he negotiated before Zivkovic’s arrival contains a clause entitling the 23-year-old to sign permanently this summer - they are still likely to seek confirmation from Changchun that changes to the fixture schedule do not impact upon that arrangement.

Such provisions typically have to be activated by a specified date, but with competition in England not set to resume until June 12 at the earliest because of the coronavirus pandemic, United could request an extension to that timeframe.

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Zivkovic has yet to make an appearance since leaving the Far East although, with his team positioned seventh in the Premier League table before lockdown was announced, Wilder attributes that to the performances of others within his squad.

Also capped by his country at youth and under-20 level, Zivkovic represented Oostende, Willem II and FC Utrecht as well as the Amsterdam giants ahead of his switch to China.

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Chris Wilder, manager of Sheffield United, with former Holland under-21 international striker Richairo Zivkovic: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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