Osimhen back on Man United radar

Manchester United are back in the hunt for Victor Osimhen, and Napoli have told the Red Devils what they want to hear, which is offsetting the £110 million release clause in the contract of the Nigerian striker.

The 25-year-old has been on Manchester United’s radar since last summer, as Erik ten Hag prioritised signing a new centre-forward to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr.

Options were thin on the ground for the Reds last summer after Cristiano Ronaldo’s unexpected departure midway through the season. However, the depth up front is arguably even more shallow now that Anthony Martial has left on a free transfer.

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Rasmus Hojlund is the only remaining recognised first-team striker at Old Trafford, and the quest is on to find a player who can accompany the Dane in the attack. Last summer, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen was on the list of strikers who were targeted as additions.

However, the fee needed to tempt him away from Italy was ultimately higher than United could afford, particularly once Hojlund was through the door. The appetite was also not there on Osimhen’s side to move, having just won Serie A.

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Fortunately, the Reds have been awarded a second bite of the cherry, and Napoli’s president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has told United exactly what they want to hear. “We knew that since last summer [Osimhen was going to leave],” he explained in January.

“That’s why the contract negotiations were so drawn out and amicable… but we knew perfectly well that he would go to Real Madrid, to PSG, or to an English team.” Suddenly, the Reds find themselves in an ideal position to sign the forward.

In the time that has followed, Madrid have splashed their main cash on Kylian Mbappe, and PSG no longer looks like an enticing proposition. The Premier League seems to be an ideal next step for Osimhen, but the Reds will need to be wary of overpaying.

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De Laurentiis has hinted there is a big release clause inserted into the Nigerian’s contract, potentially as much as £110 million. However, the longer this window goes on, the longer Napoli may have to accept; they will need to accept an offer lower than his release clause to avoid angering the striker.

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