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Transfer News: Man United leading three-horse race in pursuit of African star

Victor Osimhen has not decided about his future amidst Manchester United links.
Victor Osimhen has not decided about his future amidst Manchester United links. (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United move ahead of Arsenal and Newcastle United in the race for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen

According to Italian publication Corriere dello Sport (h/t Daily Mail), Manchester United have moved ahead of Premier League rivals Arsenal and Newcastle United in the transfer race to secure the services of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.

The forward has been impressive for Napoli since his move from Lille in 2020, leading the line effectively for the Italian side as they look to battle both the Milan clubs for the Serie A title this season.

His fine form saw Newcastle approach the Naples side in the January transfer window with a massive £84m bid, but were quickly shot down. The Nigerian therefore may be expected to cost even more than the Magpies bid at the end of the season.

Manchester United move ahead of Arsenal and Newcastle United in the race for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen . (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Victor Osimhen has interest from Man United. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

There is nothing concrete to suggest that the Toon will not return in the summer to have another go at the Napoli ace, but will also face competition from Man United and Arsenal. This time however, the Red Devils may hold the advantage over their rivals.

Contact with agent established

This is down to the Manchester side already having opened discussions about a possible transfer move ahead of the new campaign with Osimhen’s representative Roberto Calenda, who is referred to as ‘the bridge that connects Naples with Manchester.’

The contact with Calenda is crucial to signing the 23-year-old forward, as the agent is in charge of leading negotiations over his client’s transfer. The executive seems to be working hard behind the scenes to help Osimhen take the next big step in his playing career, holding a ‘summit’ with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli, and his client.

Manchester United move ahead of Arsenal and Newcastle United in the race for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen . (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Manchester United establish contact with the agent of transfer target Victor Osimhen. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

That is excellent news for Man United, who may be desperate to sign a striker of the Nigeria international’s qualities. His age is sure to be a big point in their active pursuit of the talisman, as they look to find a younger replacement for 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and 35-year-old Edinson Cavani.

With Mason Greenwood suspended and Anthony Martial’s future at Old Trafford uncertain once he returns from his loan spell at Sevilla, a number nine is required to lead the line for us next season – that, or act as a strike partner for Ronaldo.

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Uber-rich Newcastle may prove to be a challenge in the Red Devils’ hunt to secure Osimhen’s signature, while Arsenal’s possible Champions League qualification status could throw a spanner in the works. However, the Manchester side having established contact with Calenda could be the trump card they need to beat off the competition.

Having rejected a massive bid for their striker in January, Napoli could prove to be tough negotiators as they entertain more bids for the Nigerian in the summer. It remains to be seen if Calenda can pull off a surprise at the end of the season, hopefully in Man United’s favour.

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