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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.

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.

copyright: JW