The striker’s loan deal expires at the end of the month, with his parent club rejecting all of United’s attempts to extend it.
Shanghai are adamant Ighalo must return to China for the start of the Super League and have proved immovable during negotiations.
As revealed by Standard Sport, United have only explored the possibility of a loan extension, with no talks over a permanent move.
Unless there is a breakthrough before Sunday, the 30-year-old will be expected to travel back to Shanghai next week.
Ighalo has made it clear he wants to see out the season and potentially win a trophy with the club he’s supported since a boy.
Despite Solskjær revealing he was playing his way into a permanent deal before the coronavirus lockdown, United are focusing on longer term targets drawn up before Ighalo’s deadline-day move in January.
Timo Werner and Moussa Dembele are among the strikers identified by United’s transfer committee.
With spending set to be restricted following the financial impact of Covid-19, Solskjaer has had to review his plans.
He still wants to bring in three major signings, with Jadon Sancho his top target.
Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jude Bellingham are also on his wanted list.