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Manchester United contact Victor Osimhen’s agent to hijack Napoli deal – reports

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

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.

Manchester United eye Wilfred Ndidi as Nemanja Matic replacement – reports

Manchester United have apparently added Leicester City defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi to their transfer wish list ahead of the summer transfer window opening, according to reports. This is not the first time the Old Trafford club has been linked to the Nigerian International, who is consistently one of, if not the best defensive midfielder in the league.

The 23-year-old had previously caught the attentions of Paris Saint-Germain and a whole host of other European clubs, including Real Madrid before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. The Express has now claimed that United ‘are taking more than a passing interest’ in the player this summer.

Ndidi replaced N’Golo Kante in Leicester’s squad three years after he joined Belgian club Genk and has been a crucial player at the club, which are currently third in the Premier League and will resume their season in Saturday’s first kick off away to Watford, seeking to keep their chase on UEFA Champions League football.

United handed Matic a one-year contract extension at the Old Trafford club but will need to seek a replacement sooner rather than later. The player has risen his form for United at stages this season, especially when injuries in the squad were rife, which was a great time to do just that. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have been pleased with that.

United have been linked with Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek and Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso and reports suggest that Ndidi could be on the list should United fail to sign either Van de Beek or Tolisso this summer with the second unlikely based on comments from the player’s agent.

This season, Ndidi has made a total of 29 appearances for Leicester, playing in the Premier League, Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup, scoring twice and assisting one more. He signed a new contract at the club in 2018, meaning his current contract will not expire until the summer of 2024, giving Leicester total control in this transfer.

Mason Greenwood is Manchester United’s new Robin van Persie, says Odion Ighalo

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has heaped praise on teammate Mason Greenwood ahead of the resumption of the Premier League season. The 18-year-old has had a good season and will be seeking to continue that in two weeks when United are back in action. Ighalo though sees potential in the player, in the shape of Robin van Persie.

This week, it was confirmed that the Nigerian striker would remain at United not only for the remainder of the rescheduled season but until the end of January 2021, which is good news for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ighalo has highlighted the qualities of both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, reserving special praise for Greenwood.

This season, Greenwood made his rise into the first team as a regular player, making a total of 36 appearances at first team level so far, scoring 12 goals and four assists, also playing twice at U23 level in the Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy, scoring two goals. It has been a special season for the teenager and many will be hoping that continues.

For a player of his age and the fact he is not experienced, his confidence is something that needs to be admired. Ighalo feels that Greenwood has the playing style and confidence of Van Persie, who made a total of 105 appearances at United, scoring 58 goals. Discussing Greenwood with the official Manchester United website, Ighalo stated:

“I will start with Greenwood. He’s a very good player. I think I used to see with my eyes he’s looking like Robin van Persie. He can shoot with both feet, he’s a very intelligent player, young and is not afraid.”

Greenwood has a way to go in order to reach the stature of the Dutchman, but after what he has achieved this season, which has been god, he will only get better. It will be very rewarding for him to see an experienced teammate in Ighalo, praise him like he has. Hopefully we will see Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and Ighalo shine for the club soon.

Ighalo will be raring to get started against with the club he thought he would never play for again. In his eight appearances so far, the Nigerian has scored four goals and one assist, which is a good return for the player who has played a bit part role so far. The Nigerian spoke about Solskjaer’s advice after he scored a brace against Derby County in the FA Cup, saying:

“I remember the Derby County game, I scored two goals but he called me and said you’re a striker you should score three goals.

“There was a ball [pass] I needed to shoot but Juan Mata called me and I brought it back.”

The Nigerian will be seeking more playing time for the remainder of the season then a short break and into the next season where he will remain at the club until the end of January 2021. This gives United time to find a striker to bring into the club, or at least give Greenwood more time to gain experience and fill the gap. If a right-winger signs for the club, with Martial, Rashford and Greenwood, United might not need another striker.

Odion Ighalo reveals delight at Manchester United stay after loan spell extended

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has revealed his delight in remaining at the Old Trafford club for the remainder of the season, and half of the next season. It was expected that the Nigerian, who arrived at United at the end of January after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a move for an additional striker because of Marcus Rashford’s injury.

United made the confirmation on Monday that the player will no longer need to head back to China to prepare for the Chinese Super League season to start with parent club Shanghai Shenhua, which is good news for both United and the striker. Ighalo, 30, was mocked by supposed supporters of the Old Trafford club shortly after his arrival.

However, in eight appearances at the club he has scored four goals and one assist, which is a good return considering the short time he had been at the club. Now he will be able to aim for a higher number of goals as United look to confirm a top four finish in the Premier League, qualify for the UEFA Champions League and search for a trophy this season.

The Nigerian was over the moon to sign for United, a club he had supported as a child and with his knowledge of the league and the fact he scored 40 goals and 11 assists in 100 appearances for Watford, it was clear that Ighalo was the short-term option that Solskjaer was seeking. Speaking about his loan extension, Ighalo said:

“I’m really happy. It’s a dream for me to be here. I’m buzzing and ready to go.

“I feel okay. The last few days have been difficult, as there have been different talks about it, but now I’m really happy so I need to concentrate fully.

“I’m here until the end of January, so it’s good for me. I decided I want to stay and I’m happy.

“Since the first day I arrived, I made it clear that I wanted whatever it takes to continue that work.

“It was very difficult, there were some talks, but I’m happy they finally agreed and got everything done. Everything is official now.

“I’m sending thanks to the Shanghai president and director for the support, because they know this is what I want. So I’m thanking them and I’m happy this has happened. They wish me all the best too.

“Since I was young, I’ve been supporting this club and playing for it is a dream. Now I’ve extended my loan, it makes it more even clear and I’m here until the end of January.

“I just want to work hard and enjoy it, support the team and do whatever I can to make us go higher and higher.”

Ighalo and United will be raring to go when the Premier League officially returns, which is said to be on the 17 June, giving United just over two weeks to get ready for action. United’s first match should be against Tottenham Hotspur away from home, which would have been the clubs next match back in March when the league was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Odion Ighalo to remain at Manchester United until January 2021, which could solve some problems – reports

Manchester United have reportedly agreed a loan extension for Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo with the player apparently remaining at the Old Trafford club until the end of January 2021. It was expected that the striker would leave Manchester today, which was the end date for his loan spell which was agreed back in January.

Parent club, Shanghai Shenhua reportedly wanted the player back in China to prepare to start the Chinese Super League, which had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football in mid-March. However, United were keen to keep the player for the remainder of the season.

The Chinese club were initially reluctant to allow the Nigerian to stay will United past today and were demanding a £20 million fee for a permanent transfer. Then it was reported that if the player signed a new contract with the Chinese club, they would allow him to finish the season at United. However, United seem to have gone one better.

Reports indicate that United agreed to pay a revised loan fee, which is not yet known, getting the deal across the line before the expiry of his temporary contract with the Old Trafford club. The Nigerian’s agent Atta Aneke hinted on Norwegian outlet Nettavisien that a deal was close earlier on Sunday morning, saying:

“We are nearing agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan.

“The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.”

United have been in talks with the Chinese club for many days and the Daily Mail had reported that the fee for the extension that United were prepared to pay was the sticking point in the deal. That seems to have been addressed, seemingly with a positive outcome for United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy to keep his squad together.

Not only for the remainder of this season, the Nigerian will spend most of next season at United, meaning the club have bought themselves some extra time in their hunt for a new striker, seemingly not having to do a deal this summer, giving them until January to sort something out, which will be good for the club in the new financial climate in football.

Odion Ighalo can stay at Manchester United for the remainder of the season on one condition – reports

Manchester United on loan striker, Odion Ighalo will be allowed to complete the 2019/20 season at the Old Trafford club on the condition that he signs a new contract with Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, according to reports. The Nigerian is still reportedly training at United’s Carrington training ground and due to leave this weekend.

Ighalo, 30, has a contract at the Chinese club which would keep him at the Hongkou Stadium until December 2022 and they have previously offered him a new contract, worth £400,000 per week if he accepts. In January, the Nigerian completed a six-month loan deal with United, finishing the season at his boyhood club.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football in mid-March, he was only able to make eight appearances, scoring four goals and one assist in that time. He is due to be back in China this weekend, however, United seem willing to keep him at the club with Ighalo keen to end the season with United.

Sky Sports had previously reported that the Chinese club were only happy to extend the players loan spell until the end of the rescheduled season is an obligation for a permanent £20 million move was added, however, with United seeking Ighalo as a short term option, it was never going to work out.

It would seem that the stance has softened, presumably,ably because of the coronavirus-enforced border restrictions in China, which would stop the player from returning to the country. Perhaps a bit of thought should have been in place in China if this is true. United will have Marcus Rashford back from injury, so there is less pressure.

Having Ighalo at the club to finish the season would be fair, especially if he is not allowed to return to China because of border restrictions. There is a chance that Ighalo could help United attain a top four finish in the league and help them in the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, which could see the player add Chinese FA Cup medal.

Manchester United hope to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan spell – nothing is confirmed

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that he wants to extend the loan transfer of Shanghai Shenhua and former Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo as the Old Trafford step up their fitness to resume the 2019/20 season. At this moment in time, Ighalo is due to leave United at the end of the week.

The Premier League season has been on hold since mid-March with the striker appearing in the clubs last match, which was the 5-0 thrashing of LASK in the first leg of the round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League, which could be his final match for the club. In the time he has been at United, Ighalo made eight appearances, scoring four goals and one assist.

If United failed to extend the loan spell of the striker, he would be saying goodbye to his teammates before the end of the week which would be a shame for him not to help them fight for a place in the UEFA Champions League next season. United are seeking to keep the player until the end of the season, which could be August or September.

Reports state that instead of allowing the player to remain at the Old Trafford club for the remainder of the delayed season, the Chinese club are only willing to listen to offers for a permanent transfer, suggested to be around £20 million, or allowing the player to remain at the club with a clause for a compulsory purchase of the striker.

Personally, I feel this would be good for United, if Solskjaer wants that. However, with reports linking United to the likes of Moussa Dembele from Lyon, a player the club has been tracking for some time, this deal, if United made Ighalo a permanent player for the club, might stop Solskjaer from making a move for the Frenchman. Solskjaer told MUTV:

“The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back.

“We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.

“It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us.

“At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.”

Solskjaer has not ruled out the Nigerian staying at United this season and the fact that both clubs are in dialogue is a good thing. It would suggest that Shanghai Shenhua have not ruled out the possibility. There has also been reports from Foot Mercato that state Ighalo’s associate, Ladi Salami has stated the player is close to agreement over wages, saying:

“The Super Eagle feels very good in Manchester with whom he is very close to a salary agreement.

“Negotiations with the Chinese are ongoing and are going well.”

This will need to be something United act fast on as the player will be expected back in China this weekend with the Chinese Super League close to starting after it was delayed earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, United will be able to keep the Nigerian, allowing him to play a part in the remainder of the season, as he should have.

Nigerian striker wants to end the season with Manchester United, extending loan spell – reports

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo wants his loan spell, which is due to expire at the end of this month, extended for the remainder of the Premier League season, whenever that may be. World football has been suspended since the coronavirus became a pandemic in mid-March. There are suggestions that the season will resume in June.

The Chinese Super League was postponed in February with rumours suggesting that it will return in late June and could be without foreign stars that play in the league, with Ighalo possibly one of those. The 30-year-old was seemingly over the moon to sign for United and actively pushed to get the loan spell actioned back in January.

Ighalo has made a total of eight appearances for this club so far this season, scoring four goals and a further assist, which is a good return from so few matches. If the coronavirus pandemic had not happened and football had played on, he could have perhaps been on double figures at this moment in time, perhaps he might if he finishes the season at United.

The Nigerian is the type of player that United should be seeking to sign permanently as his experience will help the likes of Anthony Martial. Marcus Rashford, and Mason Greenwood learn and his presence in the box is something else, or has been when he has played this season. However, a new contract offer from his Chinese club may scupper that.

There is a chance that Ighalo would accept a pay cut to stay with United permanently with him currently on around £300,000 a week in China and may have to do with less than half of that to stay at United. I sure, as a supporter of the club, and the fact he ensure this loan spell would happen, it would be something that he thought about.

The Premier League might bring in a 2019/20 loan extension, which would be similar to the system they may bring in to cover those players that will be free agents from the 1 July this year. It would mean that contract of players affected would run until the end of the day of which the final match of the season would be played.

Of course, this sort of thing would need to happen but as far as loan spell, obviously the parent club would need to be in agreement, so it does not mean that United will keep the Nigerian for the remainder of the season. As the player reportedly wants to stay longer, it might be something easy for the Chinese club to agree upon. Ighalo, speaking to the BBC, has said:

“I would like to finish the season if it’s possible. I was in good form, good shape, scoring goals and now we’ve stopped for over a month. I’ve given it my best and hopefully we’ll come back to play.

“The team had a good momentum before the pandemic started. At the moment I’m on loan, and this will cut short my time at the club.

“The club, myself, every footballer is going through a lot because we can’t do what we love and what we know how to do best, so we’re just thinking about that for now and to finish the season before we start thinking about the contract.”

There will be a number of players in the same circumstance as Ighalo and other Premier League teams will be hoping to keep players until the season finally ends. Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos, Everton’s Djibril Sidibe and Newcastle’s Nabil Bentaleb will be some of the others that will be affected. With travel likely to be a problem, they might all get to stay.

Manchester United looking to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan spell at the club – reports

Manchester United are reportedly keen to extend Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo’s loan spell at the Theatre of Dreams and have opened dup discussions with Shanghai Shenhua. The 30-year-old has entered the final month of his spell at United and with the Premier League suspended because of coronavirus, he might not play for the club again.

Ighalo joined United during the January transfer window just as the coronavirus pandemic was starting to take hold of the world. The Nigerian has played a total of eight times for the club, playing in the Premier League, the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, scoring four goals and one assist.

The Chinese Super League was postponed because of the pandemic and will likely commence in either June of July so there is a possibility that the Chinese club would agree to the player completing the season with United. The Manchester Evening News has reported that United want the Nigerian to complete the season and are relaxed about the striker potentially heading back to the Far East.

If Ighalo is not allowed to continue playing for United after the agreed term of his loan spell, United would have Marcus Rashford back from injury after losing his services back in January due to a back problem, which is one of the reasons for United drafting in the Nigerian in the first place. Journalist Simon Peach has also confirmed United’s desire, stating:

“Manchester United would like to extend Odion Ighalo’s stay at Old Trafford.

“The striker’s loan deal expires at the end of May but an extension for the rest of the season (assuming it restarts) depends on the situation at Shanghai Shenhua. 

“He certainly made a decent impact in a short period.

It has also been claimed that the Nigerian, a self-confessed United supporter would like to remain at the Theatre of Dreams permanently but in light of the £400,000 contract that the Shanghai club has reportedly offered him, he would need to take a significant pay cut to spend more time at United. I might be something that he is willing to do, playing a better class of football at the same time.

The Nigerian has also opened up on the advise given by United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since his loan spell at the club commenced. The 30-year-old settled quickly at the Old Trafford club, and has done well since he made his first appearance, scoring four goals and one assist in the eight appearances he has made.

Ighalo has opened up about the things he has learned from former United striker, Solskjaer, a player that made a total of 366 appearances for United, scoring 126 goals and assisting 50 more. The 30-year-old obviously found the guidance interesting and seemed to have learned from it. The striker, speaking to MUTV, stated:

“When I moved to United, I learned a few things from him. During games – there was even a game I scored in, and he said: ‘You should have scored more if you do this or do that’.

“I thought about it and I know if I would have done what Ole said, I would have scored more. He says: ‘You’re a striker, take the chance’.

“So I’ve learnt a lot from him, in terms of positioning and how to do one or two things in a game.

“As a striker, it’s good when a striker is coaching you. And, as a striker, you benefit even more than the defenders.

“He is someone who has scored goals for a long time and has done a lot for United, so it’s good to learn from him.

It would be good to see more from the Nigerian, even with Rashford back in the team the Nigerian could play a part in the remainder of the season with United still fighting in the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, not to mention seeking to find a place in the top four of the Premier League. Shanghai Shenhua would reportedly want £15 million for the player, which is a relatively low fee for his experience.

copyright: JW