Fabrizio Romano explained why Man Utd can’t sign an ideal Cristiano Ronaldo successor in January, though did back up an encouraging claim about their winter window plans.
Despite the World Cup in Qatar taking centre stage, major news has been breaking back in England over at Old Trafford. The Glazer family are open to selling and the early runners and riders to secure a takeover include Apple, Amazon, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dubai.
Closer to the field, Ronaldo’s ill-fated second stint at Manchester United has concluded by mutual consent.
The 37-year-old is now officially a free agent and where he’ll move next promises to be one of the biggest stories in the coming weeks.
But of greater relevance to Man Utd fans is who the club will sign to fill the void.
With a heavily condensed fixture list coming up post-Christmas, United have reportedly decided a January addition is required to ensure Erik ten Hag doesn’t lack for firepower.
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A stunning move for PSG’s Kylian Mbappe has been floated. A summer deal rather than a January swoop would have a greater chance of success, though the Mirror stress United will try their hand in January nonetheless. What’s more, PSG are reportedly eyeing up a replacement who previously moved for £113m.
The Mirror claimed a more realistic target is Napoli’s Victor Osimhen. PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo has also been heavily linked, as has Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram.
Today’s update from Fabrizio Romano concerns Osimhem, and it makes grim reading for United fans.
Firstly, Romano did echo the reports that have claimed United are looking for a direct Ronaldo replacement in January and are not content to wait until season’s end. That will be welcome news to Ten Hag indeed.
However, the transfer guru outlined why the 23-year-old Osimhen won’t be joining the Red Devils in the next window.
Napoli shut up shop in January
“We know Manchester United are likely to be in the market for attacking players to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t get too excited about links with Victor Osimhen,” wrote Romano for CaughtOffside.
“Napoli insist they won’t sell Osimhen or any other player in January.
“The price tag in the summer was €120m (approx. £103m) and nothing happened, now they’re doing great in Serie A and Champions League so there are no plans to sell him in January at all.”
Osimhen is an all-action centre-forward who is known for his tireless work-rate without the ball. That’s not to say he lacks end product in possession, however, with nine goals and three assists registered in just 11 Serie A matches this season.
Osimhen is Napoli’s main man up top and has helped fire them to an eight-point lead in Serie A. They also have a Champions League campaign to look forward to after Christmas, making a January sale almost unthinkable.
While a move for the Nigerian international could be explored in a later window, it appears United will have to look elsewhere in January.