Due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the Premier League to take an enforced break, Ighalo's deal which was until the end of the season is now due to expire next week.
The Daily Mail attempts by United to extend the deal by another three months have been rebuffed by Shanghai, who want the striker back for the start of their season.
And it's now emerging Ighalo could be packing his bags in the coming hours to hope on a flight for Shanghai before the weekend.
United have been paying £130,000 of Ighalo's £400,000-a-week salary.
For their part, United are content with the issue if Ighalo does have to return because Marcus Rashford is fit again.