Manchester United have apparently cooled their interest in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen due to the Partenopei’s mammoth asking price.
The Nigerian international is understood to have been identified as one of the Red Devils’ leading targets to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, whose contract was terminated by mutual consent in November.
Osimhen has been a driving force in Napoli’s charge to the Serie A summit this season, coming up with 14 goals and four assists in 19 games in all tournaments for Luciano Spalletti’s team.
The former Lille attacker has a league-high 13 goals to show from 15 games in the Italian top flight – two more than closest challenger Ademola Lookman – as Napoli sit 12 points clear of reigning champions AC Milan at the top of the table.
Osimhen’s hot streak has unsurprisingly led to links with a Premier League transfer, but Napoli are under no pressure to sell on the cheap, as his contract does not expire until 2025.
As a result, the Scudetto chasers have supposedly slapped a €100m (£88.3m) asking price on the head of the 24-year-old, which has put Man United off a deal.
According to journalist Florian Plettenberg – via the Manchester Evening News – Man United are now exploring cheaper alternatives to Osimhen after being informed of Napoli’s demands.
Plettenburg adds that Erik ten Hag’s side have not given up on their pursuit entirely, but the Nigerian is no longer the number one target on their summer transfer shortlist.
Arsenal and Newcastle United have also been tipped to rival Man United for Osimhen, who has totalled 42 goals and 13 assists in 81 games for Napoli since joining in 2020.
Man United took action after Ronaldo gave an explosive interview to close friend Piers Morgan, criticising the structure of the club and admitting that he held no respect for Ten Hag.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has since joined Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, and the Red Devils responded by bringing in Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley.
However, the Dutchman is not expected to make his move permanent and will seemingly head back to Turf Moor when the season concludes, at which point Man United will intensify their search for a big-money signing.
The 20-time English champions tried and failed to prise Harry Kane away from Tottenham Hotspur in 2021, but they are believed to have reignited their interest as speculation over the England captain’s future heats up again.
Kane is out of contract at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2024 and is yet to win a major trophy at club level, but he is supposedly still open to signing an extension with the Lilywhites after equalling Jimmy Greaves’s all-time goalscoring record with his 266th strike in Monday’s 1-0 win over Fulham.
Roma’s Tammy Abraham, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic have also been linked with moves to Old Trafford for the 2023-24 campaign.