Manchester United appear to be stepping up their bid to secure a long-term centre-forward addition this summer…
What’s the word?
According to journalist Ciro Venerato, via Mondo Napoli, the Red Devils – as well as the likes of Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur – are said to be interested in the Nigeria international, albeit with any deal potential set to cost as much as €140m (£123m).
The transfer insider stated: “If Osimhen’s representatives or the footballer show the desire to have new experiences elsewhere, Napoli could sell him for very high figures of €120m or €140m. Many top clubs are on the Nigerian: first and foremost Real Madrid, because Carlo Ancelotti dotes on him, then Manchester United, Tottenham (if Harry Kane leaves) and Chelsea.”
Much of the speculation surrounding the Old Trafford outfit of late has been centred around that man Kane, with the Daily Mail reporting that Erik ten Hag’s side are plotting an £85m move for the England captain, with just 18 months remaining on the 29-year-old’s contract.
Despite that interest, however, The Athletic revealed on Monday that the long-serving Tottenham star could be open to extending that expiring deal at N17, putting into doubt the prospect of a move away from north London.
For all the benefits of signing the 80-cap maestro – who levelled the late, great Jimmy Greaves’ tally of 266 goals for the Lilywhites after netting against Fulham – turning to the younger, more mobile Osimhen could well prove a better fit for those at the Theatre of Dreams.
Although it would take a rather hefty fee to prise the 6 foot 1 “machine” from Naples – as lauded by journalist Mina Rzouki – the Independent’s Miguel Delaney only recently stated that the marksman’s ‘pace’ could well make him more of a priority target for Ten Hag.
That dynamism has seen the Lagos native earn notable praise from journalist Raj Chohan, with the respected source stating: “Osimhen running in-behind is just too lethal. He makes nothing balls into something with his pace & aggression.”
That willing work ethic has also been coupled with a remarkable goalscoring record in his career thus far, with the £93k-per-week powerhouse having scored 80 goals in 171 games across spells in Germany, Belgium, France and Italy.
This latest stint in Serie A has proven particularly fruitful as the former Lille man boasts a tally of 42 goals and 13 assists in just 81 games to date, including a haul of 13 goals and three assists in only 15 league games this season – ensuring his average match rating this season stands at 7.23, as per Sofascore.
The in-form asset is seemingly a constant menace in attack as he has averaged 4.2 shots per game this term to illustrate his devastating persistence, with that figure even greater than that of the single-minded Kane, who averages 3.7 for the same metric.
Equally, with the latter man taking on more of a playmaking role in recent years he ranks in just the bottom 36% for touches in the attacking penalty area, while Osimhen is far more of a traditional, out-and-out centre-forward as he ranks in the top 8% in that regard.
With United already having Bruno Fernandes operating in a creative berth, it may prove a better fit to land a more old-fashioned poacher such as Osimhen who can thrive inside the six-yard box, rather than turning to Kane who may potentially disrupt the Portugal international’s impact.
Of course, it may come down to which deal proves easier to complete and who is available this summer, although turning to the Napoli sensation could certainly have Ten Hag forgetting about Kane.