Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has suffered a major blow in his bid to lure Victor Osimhen to Old Trafford as the Napoli star is not for sale in January, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
After the Red Devils mutually agreed to terminate Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract following an explosive interview, ten Hag could be in the market for a new striker at the turn of the year.
What’s the latest news involving Osimhen?
According to the Manchester Evening News, Osimhen is on Manchester United’s radar after drafting up a shortlist of targets for 2023.
The report suggests there is a growing clamour among the Red Devils’ fanbase to sign a forward in the January transfer window and the 23-cap Nigeria international is being tracked.
However, Manchester United are not the only side pursuing Osimhen, whose £93,000-per-week Napoli contract is due to expire in the summer of 2025.
That is because Spanish sources, via MailOnline, have revealed Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has pleaded with president Florentino Perez to do everything to sign the 23-year-old.
It is understood that, amid additional interest from Newcastle United, Napoli have slapped a price tag worth close to £87million on Osimhen.
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
What has Fabrizio Romano said about Osimhen?
Romano understands that Napoli will not entertain offloading Osimhen midway through the season, meaning Manchester United would have to wait until the summer before attempting to conclude a deal.
The respected Italian journalist feels it is a similar story for other stars who have worked their way onto ten Hag’s list of targets.
Romano told GIVEMESPORT: “Victor Osimhen is not going to be available in January because Napoli want to continue with him as their star at least until the end of the season.
“Also, many other players rumoured will not be available, so it’s going to be difficult to find the right player.”
How does Osimhen compare to Ronaldo?
Although Ronaldo has found the back of the net more than 700 times during his club career and won the Ballon d’Or five times, there is no doubt that Osimhen would be an astute replacement at Manchester United.
That is because the Napoli man has averaged more goals, assists and shots on target than the 37-year-old since the season got underway.
Osimhen also got more shots away per 90 minutes last season and showed he is inclined to play his part defensively by averaging a greater number of tackles, blocks and interceptions than Ronaldo.
The former Lille frontman has scored 10 goals in all competitions this term and his threat in the final third of the pitch has been crucial in Napoli moving eight points clear at the Serie A summit, so he would be a shrewd signing.
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