Man Utd have been warned that it will be “incredibly difficult” to sign either Victor Osimhen or Harry Kane, though the Napoli man has “one eye” on joining the club.
Erik ten Hag is hoping to add a new centre-forward to his squad this summer to take over from Wout Weghorst. Napoli frontman Osimhen and Tottenham striker Kane have been two of the most frequently linked targets.
Osimhen has played a major part for Napoli in their pursuit of the Serie A title this season. His 21 goals in 23 league games have placed him at the top of the goalscoring charts.
His contract in Naples is only due to last until 2025, though. Napoli might be bracing themselves for interest in the Nigeria international over the summer – especially from Man Utd.
Chelsea have also been contenders for Osimhen as they weigh up similar issues in attack. However, insider Ben Jacobs has told TEAMtalk that a Man Utd move would be “more likely” for the 24-year-old – even if it is still a tricky transfer to complete.
Jacobs said: “Manchester United are still very much looking for that traditional number nine and everybody is getting excited about whether it’s going to be Kane or Osimhen, but both are incredibly difficult to pull off.
“Napoli won’t want to sell Osimhen, but he’s been there long enough now that a deal could well be possible.
“I think people forget as well that when Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille, the number they paid all in was €80million and €70million of that was up front. But it’s kind of complicated by the fact that it was part cash, part players, but Napoli are looking at the overall value of that deal and basically doubling it, which is where if you take that base fee, the valuation of cash plus players €70million and double that.
“140 to 150 million euros is the ballpark because they feel like he’s more than doubled his value since coming to the club. So that’s the difference between him and Kvara who they pay peanuts for.
“When you sign a player and invest a big fee, which is what Napoli did, they want a financial return if they’re to let the player go. But Osimhen dreams of the Premier League. And I think Manchester United is more likely than Chelsea at this point because Osimhen’s always had one eye on Manchester United.
“He actually nearly joined them before moving to Napoli, but didn’t because he wasn’t convinced he’d get the game time.”
Man Utd ‘might be serious about Kane’
Other than Osimhen, there has been plenty of speculation about Man Utd potentially bidding for Kane.
The England captain is approaching the final year of his contract with Tottenham, so faces a big decision before putting pen to paper on any new terms.
In terms of extending with Spurs, much will depend on what happens with the club’s structure in the coming weeks. As for the chances of a move to Man Utd, the process is still at the internal stage.
Jacobs continued: “Then with Kane, I think again, the Spurs project has to settle. The new manager has to become apparent.
“So Tottenham have always wanted to extend Harry Kane and Kane’s always had a willingness to sign a new deal. But we’ve had another twist now, and there’s no permanent manager. And there’s uncertainty on the recruitment side because of the Paratici ban, and they may not get Champions League football.
“So again, Kane needs to see how that project is developing because this is a big decision for him, because it’s going to be the last significant deal that he signs. So the door is open there but too premature to start connecting a Manchester United move just yet because the decisions from Manchester United’s perspective will be impacted by Champions League football, by the new owners or investors.
“Everything Manchester United are doing might be serious about Kane, but it’s kind of internal. And it’s kind of working out where they stand on the player’s side.
“There’s nothing advanced on the Spurs to Manchester United side. And there’s still that fear that you’ve got to negotiate with Daniel Levy regardless who, if he was to sanction a sale to a Premier League rival, is going to be asking, as I’ve said many times before, for £100million plus.”
No number one target chosen yet
If Osimhen and Kane both prove to be out of reach, Man Utd have a longer list of options to work with.
Jacobs has shared who three to keep an eye on could be, but there will be extra contenders who come into the equation.
The expert concluded: “So then you start saying well, who else if those kinds of names are either not feasible or are, you know, taken by another suitor. And that’s where Manchester United have been very diligent at this point in drawing up a big list to make sure that they’ve got all options covered.
“And Goncalo Ramos is still there. And he was a target. He was on Manchester United’s list before the World Cup. There’s a €120million release clause, the valuation of Benfica was more like €45million and suitors when they looked, particularly PSG, thought that was quite high. And even though it was only one game and one World Cup he’s having a phenomenal season domestically.
“I still think that it will be well above €45million, which, you know, is another outlay. I don’t think it will be Osimhen or Kane money. So you could call it a slightly cheaper option.
“Dusan Vlahovic and Tammy Abraham are ones to watch as well. And there’s three or four other names that will creep into the conversation because Manchester United haven’t really decided on any one name yet, because they’re weighing up who they want versus who is feasible, and then financially, who can they afford.”