Transfer Gossip: President tells Man Utd that 27-goal striker is ‘not moving’; Aston Villa go big for one of Italy’s top players
Manchester United have been warned off a top striker target with a move for another option now gathering pace, Arsenal have learned the price needed to sign Declan Rice this summer, while Saturday’s Transfer Gossip claims Aston Villa are readying a club-record offer to sign a Juventus star.
NAPOLI CHIEF FIRES OSIMHEN WARNING TO MAN UTD
Manchester United have been once again warned off a move for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.
Erik ten Hag is making the signing of a new No 9 his primary focus this summer. As such, he has a variety of targets in mind, with Harry Kane and Osimhem right at the very top.
The Nigerian has blasted in an impressive 27 goals across 34 games this season to fire Gli Azzurri to a first Serie A crown in 33 years.
That has sparked wild scenes in Naples with the city partying hard in the wake of their long overdue success.
However, keeping their star names together looks a tall order for the new Serie A kings.
Star defender Kim Min-jae has a worrying exit clause in his deal and appears certain to depart this summer. To that end, a move to Manchester United for the South Korean looks to be on the cards.
However, United’s chances of a double raid on Napoli appear certain to fail.
Osimhem’s contract at the Diego Maradona Stadium does not expire until 2025 and they are under no pressure to sell. And while previous reports have indicated a deal could be struck at around £132m (€150m) it seems president Aurelio De Laurentiis is now taking a new, hardline approach.
Responding to talk that Osimhem and his other star man, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, could be lured away, De Laurentiis had the firmest of responses.
“Kvara and Osimhen are not moving,” he said, bluntly.
Man Utd abandon Osimhem and move on to other striker targets
According to the Manchester Evening News, United are exploring other potential deals.
Amid concerns about how Financial Fair Play will hinder their ambitions this summer, Ten Hag is unlikely to pursue a deal for Osimhen.
Rather than waste time at trying to pursue a deal for a player whom doesn’t appear to be for sale, United will instead look at more affordable options.
And two options which seem to be presenting themselves are Rasmus Hojlund of Atalanta and Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.
And of the two, a move for Hojlund seems a likely choice should FFP limits prevent a move for someone like Kane.
The Atalanta striker has netted 17 goals in 42 appearances across all competitions this season. That tally includes five in two games for his country, Denmark.
At 20, he definitely has the capabilities of improving his game. And at a reported £55m, he would prove the cheapest of all United’s options.
More to the point, he’s also labelled himself a Manchester United fan.
“I will not hide that I’m a huge fan,” Hojland has admitted.
“So personally, (moving to Old Trafford) would be one of the biggest things for me. But that doesn’t mean that I would turn down other big clubs if the offers come at some point.”
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WEST HAM SET ARSENAL DECLAN RICE PRICE
Arsenal have learned the price they will need to pay West Ham if they are to prise away Declan Rice this summer.
Mikel Arteta is desperate to strengthen his squad as they gear up for a return to the Champions League. And while their title challenge looks likely to fall narrowly short to Manchester City, they can take pride in what has been an excellent campaign.
Now plans are underway for how to ensure Arsenal can go one better next season.
And the Gunners boss is honing in on a move for Rice as the England star prepares to leave West Ham.
His deal at the London Stadium is due to expire in summer 2024. And having ignored their pleas to tie him to a bumper new deal, Rice appears focused on securing a move elsewhere.
As a result, it seems a move across London to Arsenal is starting to gather serious pace.
However, any hopes Arsenal had of luring the player the player on the cheap have been well and truly nipped in the bud.
And according to ESPN, the Hammers will demand a fee of £100m to Arsenal for Rice.
That does appear quite a steep price given his contract situation. However, the Hammers do hold a one-year option on his deal to protect his value, while interest from the likes of Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester City will ensure West Ham can sell on their terms.
The fee will not be enough to put Arsenal off, however, and talks are expected to soon begin over the structure of the deal.
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ASTON VILLA TO GO BIG FOR DUSAN VLAHOVIC
Unai Emery is preparing a major offer to Juventus to prise striker Dusan Vlahovic to Aston Villa, according to a report.
The giant Serb has netted 12 times in 37 appearances for Juve this season in what has been a topsy-turvy season for Max Allegri’s side.
However, with financial restrictions in place, they appear ready to cash in on the 23-year-old striker.
Indeed, he has been strongly linked with moves to Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham in recent times.
And the Gunners saw a January 2022 bid to sign him fail when the then-Fiorentina striker opted instead to sign for Juve.
Now, according to Marca, Aston Villa are ready to bid big to bring Vlahovic to the Midlands.
And with Emery having Villa on track to qualify for Europe, it seems their chances are growing.
Per the report, they are ready to offer Juventus a £44.3m (€50m) for Vlahovic, making him their club-record signing.
Furthermore, they also plan to match his reported £215,000 a week deal at Juventus to switch to Villa.
However, Tuttomercatoweb reports that Vlahovic’s agent wants to steer his client to Arsenal. And having failed to land him just 18 months ago, the Gunners may yet to be temped to rekindle that interest.
Should that happen, Villa’s transfer chances will likely fade.
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