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Lille striker Victor Osimhen waiting on Manchester United or Arsenal and is set to reject Napoli – reports

Lille striker Victor Osimhen is set to reject a move to Italian side Napoli in favour of a move to either Manchester United of Arsenal, should either Premier League club be interested in signing him this summer. United have been linked to the player already in 2020 with suggestions of a £75 million bid by an unnamed club back in May.

Football Italia have reported that the Nigeria striker, 21, will reject Gennaro Gattuso’s side and wait for the Premier League duo to make contact, which seems a ballsy thing to do, unless his agent knows that both clubs hold an interest in the player, which would change the picture for the player massively this summer.

Napoli have been pursuing the striker for months now and will feel annoyed that they have wasted their time. However, it could be a massive gain for the Premier League. Osimhen met Gattuso and was even invited to club president Aurelio De Laurentiis’ home on the island of Capri but on leaving, asked for a few days to think about his decision.

Reports in Italy state that Napoli had agreed to a £46million fee to sign Osimhen, which seems well short of the apparent £75 million bid by an unnamed team in May, which was probably made up by the media. It will show United and Arsenal what they will need to spend in order to sign the player and if both are interested, he will make a decision.

Osimhen has emerged as a top prospect in the game this season, scoring 18 goals and six assists in 38 matches, which for his age shows progress. However, at United, he might not be the number one striker at the club, unless the formation is going to change with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opting for two strikers, instead of one being flanked by two wide players.

Lille might try their chances with United are Arsenal after Napoli negotiated their £46 million offer, which might not be something that the Premier League duo could do with Lille presumably holding out for more. Perhaps they will accept a fee of a similar amount but would be silly not to try for more money – if the two sides hold any interest at all.

21-year-old Lille and Nigeria striker in shock £75 million bid; target for Manchester United and Chelsea – reports

Manchester United and Chelsea transfer target Victor Osimhen seems to have had a bid of £75 million tabled with his club Lille from an unnamed club, according to reports. The 21-year-old has been a target for the Premier League giants with French news source, Telefoot reporting the bid. Could this be either club operating under the radar this summer?

Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan have both been linked with the speedy young star but it is suggested that Premier League leaders, Liverpool could be a club in the driving seat for the striker. The Nigerian international’s has played 38 times in all competitions this season, scoring 18 goals and assisting a further six – playing 3,012 minutes of football.

Osimhen started his career at the Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos, Nigeria until 2017 and after his performances in the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup, Bundesliga side WfL Wolfburg signed the player to a pre-contract which would happen in January 2017. The Nigerian played 16 times for Wolfsburg, failing to score a single goal.

In the summer of 2018, Osimhen had summer trials Belgian clubs Zulte Waregem and Club Brugge, who were the reigning champions but after a bout of Malaria, his physical condition was not the best and neither club made an offer to take him on loan. Instead, he joined RSC Charleroi on loan with the club activating their option to purchase the player.

Osimhen played a total of 36 times for Charleroi, scoring 20 goals and a further four assists in 2,935 minutes of football. In July 2019, Charleroi sold the player to Lille where the player has kept up his current form, despite the coronavirus pandemic stopping world football. It has been confirmed that the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France has been cancelled.

Chelsea have good relations with Lille after purchasing Eden Hazard from the club in the summer of 2012 and the club, along with United, hold an interest in midfielder Boubakary Soumare. It is also suggested that United made Osimhen a priority this summer following the sale of Romelu Lukaku and the poor performances from Alexis Sanchez.

However, despite all the above, journalist Duncan Castles seems to think that Liverpool are the club leading the way for Osimhen this summer. This could be a blow to both United and Chelsea, if it is Liverpool who have played the bid on the player, however, both clubs could use their financial advantage to place higher bids for the player. Castles said:

“The information I have is that Liverpool have been in contact with Lille about their Nigeria centre-forward Victor Osimhen.

“He’s attracting attention from a lot of clubs and has been fulfilling the potential he showed when he won the Golden Boot at the World Youth Cup a few years ago, scoring 10 goals in that particular tournament in Chile.

“They are open to selling him this summer but only if the market provides them with the right price.

“And they’re very conscious that this may well not be the transfer window to sell a player of his talent. That will factor into their thinking.

“They believe they’ve got a player who is going to turn into one of the top centre-forwards in European football.”

During the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup, Osimhen won the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards. Because of this, he was also named the CAF Youth Player of the Year award in 2015. The 21-year-old has been capped by Nigeria’s senior side nine times now, scoring four goals; one in a friendly against Ukraine, three in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers; one against Benin and two against Lesotho.

Liverpool join Manchester United in pursuit of talented 21-year-old French defensive midfielder – reports

Manchester United have reportedly been joined by Premier League rivals Liverpool in a £50 million chase for French defensive midfielder Boubakary Soumare. The 21-year-old Frenchman has been linked to United before and will probably continue to be linked to the club who will be seeking to find a replacement for Nemanja Matic.

Both United and Liverpool could do with some reinforcement in the midfield this summer, at least defensively as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looks to cut Liverpool’s lead over the fallen giants and lead them back to Premier League glory. Jurgen Klopp has seemingly thrown his hat into the ring, so to speak, seeking to get ahead of his rivals.

Soumare has played 30 times already this season and with the fact that Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France will not resume this season with all sporting events being cancelled until September, at the earliest because of the Coronavirus pandemic, that will be where his stats end. He has not scored a goal but has a solitary assist to his name.

The 21-year-old made his debut in Lille’s first team in 2017, closing up 51 appearances to date, which possibly shows the abilities of the player, which is something that United, Liverpool and any other potential suitor will be seeking to get a hand on their rivals ahead of the new season, whenever that may start.

Soumare has also been linked to Real Madrid with head coach, Zinedine Zidane keeping an eye on the player, whether the club are seeking to make solid their interest remains to be seen. United are being linked once again with the turbulent future of Paul Pogba, who seemingly wants to find a challenge elsewhere, although it may not happen for him.

It was reported that Soumare was offered a chance to play in the Premier League back in January with Newcastle United interested in the player, although he seemingly rejected the move. With the takeover of the club hotting up, they may return in the summer and beyond with an offer, possibly luring the player – who knows?

Soumare is a promising box-to-box midfielder who has been compared to Pogba, due to the physical nature of his play, not to mention his technical ability. He was part of Paris Saint-Germain’s academy, playing in the youth levels from 2011 until 2017 and seeking a move to Lille to be given a first team opportunity, which he has found.

The 21-year-old has been capped by France at every youth level from U16 to U21, playing a total of 39 times across the six age ranges. With United’s interest in the summer, it was clear they were looking at a number of options, possibly in view of Pogba’s departure, which never actually happened. Perhaps it will, sooner to later?

Now that United have looking into the creative problems at the club, signing Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in January and adding Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo on a six-month loan deal, Pogba may feel settled at United again. Reports did suggest that he may sign a new contract, which has not come forth as yet.

Boubakary Soumare reportedly torn between Manchester United and Chelsea; is he what United needs?

Manchester United have been linked to a whole host of footballers since the summer; many have no chance of becoming true but others seem to have something to them with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking a different stance when it come to the rebuild of the Old Trafford club. Boubakary Soumare of Lille is a player who was linked to the club last week, after being linked at the tail end of 2019.

The 20-year-old is reportedly due to decide between United and Chelseabefore the end of the month. Lille will face Paris Saint-Germain on the 26 January and nothing will be decided before that match. It almost sounds the same as Bruno Fernandes and the fact he was going to play for Benfica before leaving Sporting CP, which again turned into nothing – as it did in the summer. Rumours following the same script, maybe?

Arsenal were said to be interested in the player but last week they removed themselves from contention and both Real Madrid and Valencia followed suit. Soumare played against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League this season, seeing Lille lose 2-1 to the London club. He is a box-to-box midfielder and has been likened to Paul Pogba, a player who himself is linked with an exit from United, however not in this transfer window.

Soumare, 20 has key attributes which include ball recovery, winning possession and his general distribution. Based on that, before even thinking about United’s thin midfield offering this season, he would seem to be a player, based on his attributes, that would fit into this team and help raise the club’s game massively. United have so few options in the midfield, which will be the same for at least a month.

This season, Soumare has played in a total of 25 matches for Lille, playing in Ligue 1, the Champions League and the Coupe de la Ligue. The Frenchman has one assist to his name this season, playing 1,748 minutes of football. When he’s compared to Pogba, it is in a much different way as the French World Cup winner can create and score goals, whereas Soumare, at this time, is not offering that.

Soumare has played 64 times in his career so far at first team level, scoring one goal in total, one assist playing 3,525 minutes of football in total. He may not be the big name that some crave – which is also a direction that has not worked all that well in the past but in saying that, United could have a player similar to Soumare in the club’s academy; James Garner and Dylan Levitt, for instance.

If Soumare was a valid option for United, his passing accuracy, currently 89.1%, could help with United lack of creativity and work well with the pace available at the club. However, with creativity also lacking at the club, just bringing in Soumare would not solve the major issues that United are suffering from at this moment in time. If he was part of two or three transfers this month, it might be worthwhile.

However, the possibility of two or three players coming to the club this month seems to be slim. United have not yet been able to secure the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting, despite speculation being rife over the past two weeks. If Ed Woodward cannot sign a player the club needs, despite that player being available, how could he sign a player that would need convincing to join the ailing club?

The main thing is that United is a club that has not been invested in by the owners and with the debt the club is currently in and the fact that star players, such as Pogba, seem unhappy, it could spell bad times heading to the club. Of course, it all gets worse before it gets better but the depths United have plunged since Sir Alex Ferguson retired more than six years ago may not be anything yet.

copyright: JW