Man Utd will attempt to sign Napoli hitman Victor Osimhen in January with a report citing a nine-figure demand, and why Liverpool may have inadvertently affected their chances has emerged.
The Nigeria international, 23, continues to be the subject of links over a move to the Premier League. Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille in 2020 for a club-record €70m (approx. £60m) fee. The final tally could reportedly hit around £68m if all add-ons are met.
Osimhen has operated at just under a goal every other game since his debut in Naples. However, his all-action style presents opposition defences with more problems than just his goal threat.
He was reportedly involved in a blockbuster swap plan involving Cristiano Ronaldo over the summer.
The idea was the brainchild of agent Jorge Mendes and would’ve seen Ronaldo’s Champions League demand satisfied at Napoli.
However, the Serie A side’s lofty demands stopped the potential move dead in its tracks. A separate transfer not involving Ronaldo touted in August was also scuppered when his agent revealed Osimhen wanted UCL football.
However, not to be deterred, the Manchester Evening News report United ‘will revive their interest’ in Osimhen in the January window.
A new centre forward is known to be on the club’s agenda. Tuesday’s Transfer Gossip revealed United have made contact with the representatives of Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos with a winter move in mind.
However, while Osimhen would be a significant step up on Ramos, he won’t be easy to sign. The MEN cite reports that reaffirm Napoli would command a nine-figure fee for their star forward.
Furthermore, Manchester United are not the only major European club tracking Osimhen’s progress.
Victor Osimhen deal not easy
His agent’s prior comments about Champions League football were a major barrier to a summer swoop.
“Victor Osimhen is a Napoli player and he wants to play Champions League with Napoli,” said agent Roberto Calenda. “He’s proud of being in the UCL.”
Given United are not in Europe’s top competition this season, their chances of signing Osimhen in January could hinge on Napoli failing to make it out of the group stage.
Indeed, if only the Europa League was on offer after Christmas and United look on course for a top four finish, a January move could line up nicely.
However, Liverpool may have played an unwitting part in helping to scupper United’s chances.
Liverpool struggles torpedo Man Utd chances?
The Reds were demolished 4-1 in Naples to give Napoli a huge boost on matchday one.
They followed that up with a 3-0 victory over Rangers and as such, already hold a three-point lead atop Group A.
Ajax are the fourth team in the group and would’ve presented a real danger to Napoli’s progress ordinarily.
However, Liverpool’s dismal form thus far has ensured Jurgen Klopp’s side aren’t the guarantee of progression they otherwise would’ve been.
As such, if Osimhen were to move in January, he would be denying himself a UCL knockout campaign.
If he does leave Napoli, a move may have to wait until next summer at the earliest.