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Arkadiusz Milik linked to Manchester United once again with Spurs chasing the Polish international

Manchester United are reportedly ‘ready to move’ to sign Napoli’s Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik this summer. The transfer window will be open for another week with United not signing a player since Donny van de Beek arrived at the club from Ajax at the start of September. This summer was supposed to be a big one for the Old Trafford club, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a proverbial spanner in the works with many clubs losing out financially because of the fact that supporters are not back in stadiums at the start of the season with plans shelved for that to even be started once again – which was due to happen in October.

Tottenham Hotspur were said to be leading the chase to sign Milik, 26, this summer but Rai Sports reporter Ciro Venerato has suggested that United have shown interest in the Polish striker and held informal talks, along with RB Leipzig, Manchester City, Fulham and Spurs. This gives the suggestion that it is not clear cut what could happen this summer but United, in terms of the size of the club, the fact they will be playing in the UEFA Champions League, as will Leipzig and City, but Spurs will only play in the Uefa Europa League with Fulham only just returning to the Premier League from the Championship and will play no part in European football this season.

Venerato recently spoke to Radio Kiss Kiss, which was reported by The Sun in which he spoke about the clubs that have an interest in signing Milik this summer. United were linked to the player back in April 2020 whilst the Premier League was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic and it was expected that the club were getting ready for the summer transfer window, which was expected to be delayed with it not known at the time whether the Premier League would continue that season or be scrapped. It would seem that Spurs are still in the driving seat for the Polish striker this summer but United could involve themselves. Venerato said:

“An intermediary told me that there’s informal talks with Leipzig, Manchester City, Manchester United, Fulham and Tottenham [Hotspur].

“The latter are the most reliable track, but the formula requested by Napoli does not convince [Jose] Mourinho.”

This season, United have Anthony Martial, who scored 23 goals and 12 assists during the 2019/20 season, as the number one striker at the club with Odion Iglaho, who is on loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua until the end of January 2021 as the second-choice striker at the club. The thing is that Solskjaer would need to bring in a new striker sooner rather than later with that expected to happen during the January transfer window, with Ighalo leaving the club by the end of that month. If United can sign a striker this summer, then it would show that Solskjaer needed a boost to the clubs firepower this season.

Ighalo has not scored a goal since the 2-1 victory over Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup last season, which was played on the 27 June 2020. Ighalo has made two appearances so far this season, playing 88 minutes of football and has yet to score or make an assist. During the 2019/20 season, Milik made a total of 35 appearances for Napoli, scoring 14 goals and no assists. He might not be the first choice striker at the club but in terms of goals, he could offer something to help carry United forward, having a different kind of attacking player on the bench, rather than the same players all the time, which is likely this season.

United have a good first XI but after that, the quality is not as good and needs to be looked at. This is the problem with the club. The strongest XI that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has available, when fully fit and raring to go, will do the job that is needed but that XI cannot play across an entire season and will need to be rotated, especially with the club being involved in four competitions once again and definitely because there was a short break this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic which will leave the players a lot less fresh as the season develops. United do have a big squad but there are many players that just do not cut it and end up letting the club down.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United in tussle with Arsenal for Napoli’s Polish striker – reports

It is being reported that Napoli and Poland striker, Arkadiusz Milik is set to leave the Italian club this summer which has seemingly put a number of Premier League clubs on alert, according to the reports. The Poland international is contracted at the club until the summer of 2021, so perhaps this is the player trying to get a new contract?

The Pole has made a total of 22 appearances in Gennaro Gattuso’s team this season, scoring 12 goals in total before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. It is expected that the Serie A will target a return to action on the 13 June, with the Bundesliga already back in Germany, and the Premier League and La Liga planning to resume.

It is stated that the 26-year-old appears unlikely to renew his contract at the Italian club this summer, forcing them to sell him this summer or lose him as a free agent in a year’s time. Juventus are believed to hold an interest in the player, despite having little money and still wanting new additions, it seems strange they still expect to compete in the market.

Napoli valie the player at £45 million for overseas clubs and so not to strengthen Juventus this summer, or whenever the player actually leaves the club, Napoli would lower their valuation of the player, presumably creating a market for a bargain the summer, at least for clubs interested in the striker. Arsenal ate the frontrunners, according to La Repubblica.

That would seem right, give the fact that United extended the loan spell of Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo this weekend, not only keeping the player for the remainder of the rescheduled Premier League season, but until the 31 January 2021, meaning the club are not restricted to signing a new striker this summer, now able to wait until January.

The financial market because of the coronavirus pandemic might change considerably by the start of 2021, especially if there is a not a second wave of the disease in Europe, which is something that we all hope for. Supporters might be able to once again watch live football in stadiums closer to this time, giving clubs a financial boost.

It is stated that United are admirers of the Poland international but with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Ighalo and Mason Greenwood in attacking ranks, it is unlikely that manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will spend money this summer that could be spent in other departments – right-wing for instance, which really needs addressing.

Arsenal would be a club more likely to sign the Pole, especially given the fact that the club could sell both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette this summer, giving them a real need for a player like Milik. Solskjaer will need to bring in a new striker at some point but with Ighalo’s extension, the urgency has now gone.

United have been linked with Moussa Dembele of Lyon, who could leave the club this summer, meaning United could miss out, unless they do a deal which would see the player remain at Lyon until January with United buying the player then, which will be important considering the fact Ighalo will leave the club at the end of that month.

Arkadiusz Milik could be on Manchester United’s radar as they look to permanently replace Romelu Lukaku

Manchester United sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan in the summer of 2019, not replacing the player, which was something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was slated for at the start of the season. In the January transfer window, Odion Ighalo was brought in on a loan deal until the end of the season, which has been hampered by the Coronavirus pandemic.

This summer, or later if the transfer window is delayed, Solskjaer will be seeking to add some extra firepower to his squad. Ighalo would be a perfect player to sign permanently, if the player and Shanghai Shenhua are interested, but having another striker in the ranks would not be a mistake. One player currently linked is Arkadiusz Milik.

The Poland international currently plays for Napoli after signing from Ajax in the summer of 2016 for a fee reported to be around €35 million. During the 2019/21 season, before it was halted, Milik had played 22 times for his club, scoring 12 goals; nine in Serie A and a further three in the UEFA Champions League.

Milik’s contract runs until the end of the 2020/21 season, meaning he has just over a year remaining which could give United some clout if they are seriously interested in the 26-year-old. The reported fee is suggested to be around £60 million, which may be merely speculation but I am sure Napoli would be looking to recoup their initial investment, making a profit also with football being more of a business these days.

Reports suggest the player did not have the best childhood after his father walked out on the family but a football coach in the country, Sławomir ‘Moki’ Mogilan, helped him succeed in the game and get to where he is right now, which shows the level of discipline that the player may have – a trait that Solskjaer may be looking for to completely redevelop the mentality at the club right now.

Milik is a Manchester United supporter and has previously talked about playing at Old Trafford but at the time he was playing for Bayer Leverkusen (2013-15) and had recently made the move from Polish club Górnik Zabrze after coming through the youth ranks of Rozwój Katowice. The 26-year-old also played for FC Augsburg (loan) and Ajax (loan) before signing for the Dutch club permanently. Speaking about United, Milik said:

“I am a Red Devil supporter, so I would love to play at Old Trafford one day.

“For now, however, I am a Bayer Leverkusen footballer, and I am very far from Manchester.”

The player was once on the radar of English clubs, having a trial with Tottenham Hotspur back in 2011 when Harry Redknapp was the manager but after he seemingly failed to impress, Spurs decided not to pay Rozwój Katowice the £100,000 fee they were looking for. Championship club, Reading also turned down the players year before started performing was on the road to becoming a decent striker.

During his career so far, Milik has played 259 competitive matches, playing for five different club in nine seasons, scoring 112 goals and assisting a further 34, playing a total of 15,271 minutes of football. Whilst those figures may not be amazing, he seems to be a striker capable of finding the back of the net, whether playing as the main striker, or the second striker.

Milik is described as a ‘versatile and well-rounded left-footed’ forward who is ‘capable of playing off another forward’. The 26-year-old has the ‘ability to both score and create goals’ and ‘possesses pace and good movement off the ball, as well as a powerful and accurate shot, which make him an excellent finisher and goalscorer’. He is also ‘physically strong, agile, and a good header of the ball, which allows him to excel in the air’. Milik has been compared to compatriot Robert Lewandowski by the Polish sports media.

copyright: JW