Man Utd ‘talks to begin’ on club-record signing with Chelsea struggler providing unlikely helping hand
Manchester United are growing increasingly confident they can secure what will prove a club-record deal with talks reportedly due to soon begin to sign their No 1 target this summer.
Erik ten Hag’s side are enjoying an excellent season with the Carabao Cup already in the bag. Yet it could soon get even better with United through to the FA Cup semi-finals and into the last eight of the Europa League. They are also well on target for their main seasonal objective too; a return to the Champions League.
As such, plans are gathering pace for what is likely to be another big summer of transfers for United. Indeed, Ten Hag was allowed to spend well over £200m in the first phase of his rebuilding programme.
Now with the club upwardly mobile, they are set to bankroll more major investment to take the Red Devils up another level. And with the focus on quality over quantity, Ten Hag has three positions he intends to strengthen.
Indeed, he is looking for a new defender, who can primarily play at right-back. Denzel Dumfries and Jeremie Frimpong appear to be leading options, though this week there have been reports of talks for a versatile Monaco defender.
Ten Hag also wants to strengthen in midfield. And while Frenkie de Jong remains an option, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip is talking up a shock raid on Chelsea.
However, by far the most column inches are being dedicated to the identity of Man Utd’s new striker recruit.
With Wout Weghorst’s loan stint unlikely to be made permanent, Uniited are gearing up to spend big on a new No 9.
READ MORE: ‘Amazing’ Man Utd attacker’s next club named if Ten Hag is afraid to make huge Bruno Fernandes call
Man Utd given Victor Osimhen transfer belief
And the club has three main targets in mind: Harry Kane, Goncalo Ramos and Victor Osimhen.
Of the trio, it is probably Osimhen who is seen as the No 1 objective.
However, prising him away from Napoli is likely to be tough with president Aurelio De Laurentiis a tough negotiator.
Indeed, they are reportedly putting a huge asking price of £150m on the striker’s head.
At 24 and with a record of 91 goals in 181 career games, Osimhen has all the attributes Ten Hag requires.
However, United’s hopes of a deal have now seemingly taken a dramatic leap forward.
That’s after a report stated that Napoli are at least willing to negotiate over Osimhen’s sale.
And The Independent claim talks with Napoli are set to begin over a deal for the striker.
Furthermore, De Laurentiis is reportedly in fact very much open to the exit of his star man. And it seems the previous exit of Kalidou Koulibaly will likely have a major bearing on the deal.
The Senegalese star was long linked with a move to United as they looked to strengthen their central defensive options.
However, their exorbitant demands for Koulibaly – at one stage rating him at around £120m – killed their chances of a sale.
Koulibaly eventually departed Napoli last summer, joining Chelsea in a £33m deal.
But that sale was at a fraction of the cost Napoli could have once claimed. And while £120m was too steep, United did reportedly see a £87m offer (€100m) rejected.
Osimhen has Premier League transfer dream
Now it seems it is a case of once bitten, twice shy with Napoli at least willing to negotiate on his a sale.
And that may yet lead to a transfer which, despite potential Napoli concessions, will still cost United a club-record fee.
Indeed, per reports the two clubs could settle on a figure at around the £105.4m (€120m) mark.
Osimhen himself has made clear his ambitions to play in the Premier League too, giving them a further helping hand.
“I think playing in one of the top five leagues in the world is an amazing feeling for me,” he said earlier this month.
“A lot of people worldwide consider the Premier League as the best and the strongest league. But now I’m in one of the best leagues in the world which is the Italian Serie A.
“I’m working so hard to make sure that I achieve my dream of playing in the Premier League some day. But, like I said, it’s a process and I just want to keep on this momentum and continue to do well.”
Napoli are currently top of Serie A by an astonishing 19 points, having won 23 of their 27 games to date.
And Osimhen is enjoying an excellent season on a personal level with 25 goals and five assists from just 29 appearances in all competitions.
READ MORE: Victor Osimhen opens up on Man Utd transfer talk as Napoli chief teases Ten Hag with ballsy admission