Manchester United have reportedly contacted the agent of Lille and Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen with a view of hijacking his prospective move to Italian club Napoli this summer. The Sun have reported that United are ‘one of many European clubs’ interested in the 21-year-old Nigerian ahead of the summer transfer window opening. Napoli have agreed a £46 million fee with Napoli for the player this summer.
Italian journalist Ciro Venerato has claimed that United have not given up on the prospect of signing the talented Nigerian to be the permanent replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who left the Old Trafford club last summer, and seemingly a replacement to compatriot Odion Ighalo, who is currently on loan with United and will remain at the club until the end of January 2021, giving United strength in depth in attack.
Venerato, speaking to CalcioNapoli24 in his native Italy, who would have the latest news on Osimhen as he is being chased by Napoli, seem to have some different information involving United, who have been reported as interested in the Nigerian, however, never firming up with solid interest, until now if what he said is true. Venerato said:
“A few hours ago Manchester United phoned Osimhen’s new agent to find out if he had signed with Napoli.
“If an offer from United comes, there would not be many possibilities because they have an economic power superior to that of Napoli.”
This season, Osimhen has emerged as a cracking player, at least in France. Before the coronavirus pandemic suspended then cancelled football in the country, the Nigerian 21-year-old made a total of 38 appearances for his club, scoring 18 goals and six assists, coming through as a top prospect in Europe based on the attention that has been afforded to him. Napoli might have made the first move, but anything can happen.
The Nigerian has been capped nine times for his country, emerging during 2017 with one cap, earning another in 2018, playing seven times in 2019, scoring four goals; his first in a friendly against Ukraine, then scoring three times during the African Cup of Nations qualification, once against Benin and twice against Lesotho. His international experience will be a benefit, although if he puts himself on a bigger stage, he could feature for his country more, post-coronavirus pandemic.
Osimhen started out at VfL Wolfburg in Germany, playing a total of 16 times for the club during two seasons (2016/17 and 2017/18), not scoring a single goal and assist. He then moved to Charleroi, spending a season at the club (2018/19) making 36 appearances, scoring 20 goals and four assists. He signed for Lille last summer, has continued his goalscoring escapades and continued to grow as a player. Whether he is good enough for United will remain to be seen, also whether these reports are solid or just gossip. I am not all that convinced of either, in all honesty.
Written by John Walker