With Manchester United set to terminate the contract of Cristiano Ronaldo after his explosive interview in which the Portuguese rubbished the club’s top hierarchy, Nigeria international, Victor Osimhen, is highly favoured for a move to the Theater of Dreams. Not to be caught unawares, Napoli eggheads have identified some players that could likely replace the former Lille man should he move to England
According to French journalist, Ignazio Genuardi, Manchester United would have to pay between £87m and £104m to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen next summer.
The Red Devils are currently looking to ease out Cristiano Ronaldo after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which the Portuguese made disrespectful comments towards manager Erik ten Hag as well as the club’s owners.
The club are likely to pursue a low-cost replacement for Ronaldo in the coming transfer window and could wait until next summer to sign a marquee striker. Osimhen is on their radar and Genuardi claims that he would cost £87m-104m.
Osimhen has had a top season for Napoli with 10 goals and three assists from 14 outings. He has been a key player for the Serie A outfit, who are aiming to lift the Scudetto after three decades.
Hence, a mid-season sale is completely out of the question. The club are likely to wait until next summer to consider offers, but it is quite clear that he will cost a premium fee.
United were willing to pay £87m to price Antony away from Ajax earlier this term and they should be prepared to make a similar outlay on Osimhen, who will be in demand.
The 23-year-old is a modern striker, who likes to dribble and excels with his finishing. He is not the best in holding up play, but has a superb aerial presence in the box.
Erik ten Hag got the best out of a struggling Sebastien Haller at Ajax and Osimhen could be a perfect addition to the ranks as he enters the prime of his playing career.
Ten Hag can rely on Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who can both operate in the centre of attack. However, Rashford has admitted left wing is his best position, while Martial isn’t showing the best attitude.
According to various reports, Martial clashed with 18-year-old Dan Gore in Man Utd training. The Frenchman ‘lashed out’ at Gore after a late challenge from the young midfielder.
While the players made up and apologised, the incident will be worrying for Ten Hag. It shows Martial can quickly lose his temper, which opposition defenders may be able to capitalise on.
Man Utd chiefs are working in the background to try and solve the striker problem. They originally set their sights on in-form Bayern Munich man Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, but the Germans want to keep hold of him.
Instead, Man Utd are plotting a move for Napoli and Nigeria ace Victor Osimhen.
He is in brilliant form, having bagged 10 goals in 14 matches so far this season. That includes a hat-trick during Napoli’s recent 4-0 rout over Sassuolo.
The Italian giants would love to keep him for the long run, but they know he is picking up interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
As such, they will allow Osimhen to leave the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium if a suitable bid comes in. There is an agreement in place between the player and his club on this issue.
However, Man Utd will definitely have to spend big to get Napoli to sign off on Osimhen’s exit.
Due to his fantastic form, they have put his valuation at between €100million and €120m.
Signing Osimhen for closer to £100m would see Man Utd break their transfer record of £89m they spent to re-sign Paul Pogba from Juventus in August 2016.
Clearly, this is a colossal potential transfer which would heap pressure on Osimhen.
The attacker has spearheaded Napoli’s fantastic start to the campaign, either side of a bicep injury. He has been their main source of goals, helping them to top the Serie A table, as well as their Champions League group.
And at 23, Osimhen has plenty of time to get even better. Replacing Ronaldo with the Nigerian would be another signal that it is a new era for Man Utd under Ten Hag.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are said to have shown interest in the Napoli striker and have been told that they would have to chunk up at least €100m to land the African.
Italian football intermediary Guiseppe Canella while speaking to Radio Punto Nuovo has confirmed that Napoli could end up selling the player but only if the huge price set by them is met, hence making any possible January deal very tough.
It is no coincidence that Osimhen is highly in demand, having been a key player for an exceptional Napoli team, which plays one of the best attacking football in Europe currently.
Napoli under Luciano Spaletti does look like a proper team and this year could finally be the year they win the Scudetto if the first half of the season is anything to go by, they have established themselves as the favourites to win it.
Osimhem, though suffered a period on the sidelines with an injury, has still managed to rack up 13 goals contributions in 14 appearances in all competitions for Napoli.
The Nigerian has the perfect blend of pace, power and composure, something which is rare these days and at just 23 years of age, is in the perfect place to hit his prime.
Osimhen would instantaneously improve any team’s attack and although there are claims of Liverpool being interested in the player, it is hard to see Jurgen Klopp and co. spending big on an attacker after acquiring Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Fabio Carvalho and big money signing, Darwin Nunez.
Ideally, it is the midfield which needs to be looked at first but of course sometimes it is important to take into consideration the opportunity available in the market, which could change the way the market is approached.
Back in the summer, The Mirror reported Jurgen Klopp’s side were interested in signing Osimhen, alongside Arsenal and Manchester United.
However, a proposed deal never fully came to fruition, and the player remained at Napoli.
When looking at the striker’s numbers in front of goal, it is no wonder the Reds have held a longstanding interest in the Nigeria international.
Thus far this season, Osimhen has bagged nine goals in 11 Serie A matches. In the Champions League, he also netted as his side cruised to a 4-2 victory over Ajax.
To date, the 23-year-old has a one-in-two strike-rate. In 76 appearances for Napoli, he has amassed 38 goals. Prior to this, he did the same at Lille, where he scored 18 times in 38 games.
According to RudyGaletti.com, Napoli have penciled down five potential targets should the striker seek to move elsewhere at the end of the current campaign.
Canada international, Jonathan David, Chelsea forward, Armando Broja, RB Leipzig’s Noah Okafor, Randal Kolo Muani and Brazilian star, Marcos Leonardo have all been penciled down by Napoli’s sporting director, Cristiano Guintoli.