Victor Osimhen could still leave Napoli this summer.
Osimhen has spearheaded Napoli to their first Scudetto since 1990 this season and has reportedly put himself at the top of United’s summer transfer wishlist in the process.
Napoli’s president, Aurelio de Laurentiis, is a notoriously tough negotiator and with other Euro giants such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea also being linked with the Nigerian, figures of €150-€160 million started to be reported in the Italian and British press.
But to make matters worse, in the aftermath of clinching that historic Serie A title, De Laurentiis declared that he was keeping Osimhen in Naples for one more season.
Added to United’s reported concerns over the striker’s proneness to injury, that appeared to be that for the transfer pursuit, but today Italian journalist, co-editor of Corriere dello Sport Alessandro Barbano claims that De Laurentiis will be forced to change his mind if an interesting offer arrives.
“De Laurentiis does not want to sell [Osimhen], but an offer of one hundred and twenty million [Euros], plus ten to the player, would put him in front of an obligatory choice.”
Given the seniority of the journalist making the claim and the specific nature of the figures, the report has an air of credibility about it.
Of course, €120 million – £104 pounds sterling – plus another €10/£9m signing on fee, is still a hefty amount for United and their competitors to find.
But it is certainly a lot more reachable than €160/£140 m, and crucially, also not that different from the €115/£100 million that Spurs are reportedly seeking for United’s other reported main target, Harry Kane.
What United have in their favour in this situation is that in De Laurentiis and Spurs’ Daniel Levy, they have two difficult men to reach agreement with. But they can play one off against the other.
The fact is that both men know that now is the time to get top dollar for their crown jewel and to miss the boat now could cost them millions down the line, especially in the case of Kane, who is said to be willing to let his contract run down to force a move away from Tottenham.
If either man overprices their star they will run the risk of United turning to the other as representing better value for money.