In pictures: Man Utd v Aston Villa
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Manchester United and Manchester City are among a host of top European clubs tailing Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has got off to a flyer this season, and a number of heavyweights are scrambling to find attacking alternatives if an ambitious and hotly-contested move for Erling Haaland falls flat next summer.
Sensationally, Osimhen has struck six goals in six games across all competitions so far this campaign.
His eye-catching brace against Leicester in the Europa League alerted English audiences to his talent, with one exemplary first touch and finish especially mesmerising.
His individual performances have translated to team points too, with Napoli sitting pretty at the top of Serie A after winning all of their first six games.
Osimhen is quickly establishing himself as a viable alternative to Haaland next summer, with only one lucky club able to land the Norwegian.
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According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea, Real Madrid, United and City are all monitoring Osimhen’s situation.
What they may be pained to find out, however, is the fact that owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is supposedly holding out for a fee in excess of £100million.
That much is not overly surprising, seeing as Napoli forked out a fee which could rise to £70m to prise him away from Lille back in 2020.
When compared to Haaland’s £65m release clause the fee seems high, but Osimhen is only one year older at 22 and has sky-high potential to become a force of nature.
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Positively for interested parties, the report also states that the striker is ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the rumours linking him to top clubs across the continent.
City may carry a narrow advantage in the hunt, given United already have Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani over-crowding their sole position up top.
Meanwhile, the Blues’ need for a striker is well-publicised after failing to replace Sergio Aguero this summer.
Osimhen would not be a traditional Pep Guardiola-style forward, given he is a tall, pacey target man who operates more as a goal-scorer than a tricky link-up player.
In a year’s time, however, his goal-scoring prowess could be such that it is worth building an attack around him.
His Napoli contract runs until 2025 so the club are under no imminent pressure to cash in, with his touted departure tipped for next summer.
Osimhen’s first campaign in Naples was marred by injury, so his main priority should be to continue his solid run of games. Where the scintillating form takes him after that remains to be seen.
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