Manchester United suffer transfer blow as Napoli striker Victor Osimhen picks Arsenal as his preferred summer destination
According to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Express), Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has made up his mind about his potential destination ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window, with the player picking Arsenal over Manchester United.
Osimhen has continued to impress in Italy, picking up where he left off last season. The Nigerian has been in prolific form since his move to Napoli from Lille in 2020, netting regularly for the Serie A side as they push for a place in the top four.
His displays in Naples have caught the attention of several Premier League clubs, who are keen to snap him up at the end of the campaign in order to boost their attacking ranks and add a proven goalscorer to their squads.
United, Arsenal, and Newcastle United are the teams that are interested in securing the 23-year-old’s services in the summer. While the Red Devils and the Gunners are looking for someone to lead the line for them given the impending departures of their out-of-contract forwards, the Magpies are looking to make a statement signing under their new Saudi owners.
London preferred over Manchester
However, both the Manchester and Tyneside clubs will have to look at other transfer targets ahead of the new campaign after it was revealed that Osimhen would prefer to move to the Emirates Stadium over them. A move to Arsenal could look very likely, given that there have already been background meetings between Napoli and the striker’s team over his future in Italy in recent weeks.
The Nigeria international is keen to win trophies and also play in the Champions League. Among the three English sides who have registered an interest in the player, the north London club are best-placed to secure elite European football next term, giving them a boost in their pursuit of Osimhen.
The Gunners currently sit in fourth place in the league table, two points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and five points ahead of the Red Devils. However, United have played two games more than Arsenal, which gives Mikel Arteta’s side an advantage in the race for UCL football qualification.
Newcastle lie far behind in the race for European football but have completed a remarkable turnaround in form since the January transfer window. They were once battling relegation, but Eddie Howe and his new signings have managed to turn things around – they now occupy tenth place, in the top half of the points table.
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It is no secret that the Manchester side is in need of attacking reinforcements, given how poor Marcus Rashford has been on the pitch this year. Edinson Cavani’s imminent exit would see the forward line stretched thin, and with Cristiano Ronaldo not getting any younger, a younger replacement is needed.
Osimhen would have been the good candidate to fix some of the English giant’s issues up front, but from the latest reports, it seems as though they are set to lose the frontman to their rivals. A new transfer target now needs to be identified in the summer, and hopefully, they turn out to be a better upgrade than the Napoli man could have been.