The national team manager of a Manchester United-linked striker has told Erik ten Hag why he should sign the £85million star, although the Red Devils have been warned about rival interest in the transfer.
Manchester United have several attackers in their sights as they try to find a successful replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo up front. Ten Hag has looked into signing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting from Bayern Munich amid his exceptional form.
Choupo-Moting was behind Robert Lewandowski in the Bayern pecking order previously but has done very well since the Pole left for Barcelona. Choupo-Moting has managed 10 goals in 15 matches this season, which includes a brace in Bayern’s recent Bundesliga victory over Hertha Berlin.
However, Bayern chief executive Hasan Salihamidzic has revealed he is determined to keep the 33-year-old at the Allianz Arena. As such, Choupo-Moting is in line to receive a new contract which will effectively end Man Utd’s hopes of landing him.
Instead, Ten Hag and director of football John Murtough will have to look into a deal for Napoli talisman Victor Osimhen.
He was in great form last season, netting 18 goals in 32 appearances across all competitions. And Osimhen has carried that run into the new campaign, finding the net nine times in 13 outings so far. He probably would have scored more too, but for a bicep injury which kept him on the sidelines for six games.
According to Thursday’s Transfer Gossip, Ten Hag has recently identified Osimhen as his number one target to replace Ronaldo up top.
The Nigerian will not come cheap, as Napoli have slapped an £85m price tag on his head. But Ten Hag will seemingly instruct Murtough to match this sum so he can get his ideal striker in at Old Trafford.
National team manager sings the praises of Man Utd target
Osimhen will not get the chance to impress on the biggest stage of all as Nigeria did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Nevertheless, Nigeria boss Jose Peseiro has been speaking about his main striker.
And Peseiro sent Ten Hag a glowing recommendation of Osimhen, explaining how the 23-year-old is a complete striker. The only trouble for Ten Hag and Man Utd is that Peseiro believes all of Europe’s biggest clubs will be after him too.
“He is very young. It’s certainly not easy, usually a centre-forward finds this level further ahead,” Peseiro said during an interview with Tuttomercatoweb. “But he always scores goals. Right now I don’t think I’m wrong if I say every team in the world wants to buy him. He can press, he can score, he can use the body. He would know how to play in all the teams.
“Napoli are playing great, they are first, the benefits are for both of us. For him, for the manager, for the team-mates. Keeping a player like this for Napoli will not be easy given the value and the demands he will have.
Victor Osimhen labelled a ‘full centre-forward’
“He’s a full centre-forward. He makes assists, scores right, left, is strong in the defensive phase. He knows how to press and is not easy to defend for a defensive centre.
“In June, in the summer, I believe that Napoli will ask for several million for him … And I think there will be a lot of clubs to offer them. He is young and still has great potential for growth.”
Peseiro’s comments are telling. The Nigeria manager is fully expecting several teams to submit big-money bids for Osimhen. Presumably Man Utd will be among them, although it may be hard for them to win the bidding war.
Osimhen will be delighted about Peseiro calling him a ‘full centre-forward’. This will fill him with confidence and may also convince Ten Hag on the transfer swoop.
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