Powerful Nigeria striker drops Man Utd hint but admits talks with rivals

Victor Osimhen

Lille striker Victor Osimhen has admitted he wants to move to the Premier League after being strongly linked with a move to Manchester United – but has confirmed he has previously held talks with a rival.

Having arrived in Ligue 1 from Belgian side Charleroi in the summer, Osimhen has come to life in the French top flight having scored 13 goals in 25 games.

That record puts him fifth in the league’s scoring charts and, overall, the Nigeria international has scored 18 times in 36 outings this term, an average of a goal every two games.

Such form saw him linked with Liverpool and Tottenham in the January transfer window; the Reds had reportedly been tracking the 21-year-old extensively throughout the first half of the season. Tottenham, meanwhile, were reportedly keen as they sought cover and competition for Harry Kane, who suffered a ruptured hamstring injury.

However, it has since emerged that the striker is also being courted by Manchester United and the striker is taking career advice from current Red Devils’ loanee Odion Ighalo.

Now, speaking to the Independent, Osimhen admits he wants to play in the Premier League and admits he has spoken to Ighalo about life at United.

“Of course, one day I’d like to play for a big club in England.

“I’ve spoken to Odion [Ighalo] about it. He gave me very good advice, he’s a legend and a big brother.

“My goal is to play at one of the biggest clubs in the world but now I’m very happy in Lille.

“My priority is to play a lot of games. Signing for a big club and being on the bench is not exciting for me.”

It’s not the first time the striker has come close to a move to England, with the player strongly linked with Arsenal back in 2015 when he was still a teenager.


However, despite lengthy talks with then-Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, Osimhen opted instead to head to Germany and sign for Wolfsburg.

He added: “I spoke with Arsene Wenger after the Under-17s World Cup ended and he wanted me to come to Arsenal.

“I had a lot of options: Barcelona, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and the rest.

“Arsenal was a good option but it wasn’t the best at the time, I wanted to start playing as soon as I turned 18.

“I wanted to go to a place where I had time to invest in my game and improve physically. Wolfsburg showed me that possibility.”


Lille president hints at Osimhen sale

Lille president Gerard Lopez, meanwhile, has admitted that while he expects the striker  to be at the club next season, though has admitted there is a possibility he could leave.

Speaking to RTL (via Foot Mercato), Lopez spoke about the player’s future and revealed that there could come a time when Osimhen decides to move on.

“Osimhen will be at Lille next season,” Lille’s president said.

“Afterwards, there are factors that I cannot control, such as the fact that a club arrives and offers a salary six or eight times higher than what we can offer.

“But I think that sometimes, it is better not to take a big salary and wait until next season.”

The Nigerian attacker is said to be valued at €35m by the French club.

In other United news, Ed Woodward has also been offered the chance to sign an Italy striker, who was on United’s radar back in summer 2017, but now for a cut-price deal.