Erik ten Hag’s £100m swap plan up in smoke as Fabrizio Romano spills beans on why striker doesn’t fancy Man Utd

·4-min read
Victor Osimhen player of Napoli, during the match of the Italian SerieA league between Napoli vs Juventus, final result 2-1, match played at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium. Naples Credit: PA Images
Victor Osimhen player of Napoli, during the match of the Italian SerieA league between Napoli vs Juventus, final result 2-1, match played at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium. Naples Credit: PA Images

Manchester United’s prospects of landing Victor Osimhen as part of a reported £100m swap deal for an unsettled Red Devils star have been ridiculed by the player’s agent.

United manager Erik ten Hag is still looking to make some late window moves as he reshapes his squad. Their season finally has lift-off after a convincing 2-1 win over Liverpool on Monday, a match in which Roy Keane says they made their opponents look average. That victory was very much needed and eases the pressure a little on Ten Hag after a woeful start to his reign.

Indeed, back-to-back losses to Brighton and Brentford had left United bottom of the pile, with a goal difference of minus five. Now, though, he will hope the victory over their arch-rivals will have given them lift-off.

The bedrock for that victory came amid revelations about a fiery team meeting that proceded the match. In the open chat, Ten Hag brutally told Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire they would not be part of his side to face the Reds. And Ten Hag reportedly laid down the law to the pair – and other under-performing stars – that it’s his way or the highway at United.

That appeared to have the desired affect, with United pulling off a much-improved display to record a deserved win.

However their season pans out, however, it seems that Ten Hag has had enough of the Ronaldo saga. To that end, the report in The Sun claims Ten Hag now wants Ronaldo gone and is sick of the circus surrounding his future.

That view is reportedly shared by a number of senior players who feel Ronaldo’s presence at the club only damages morale.

Victor Osimhen swap for Ronaldo refuted

As such, Friday’s Euro Paper Talk brought about claims that Ten Hag wants to offer Ronaldo to Napoli in a swap deal for Osimhen.

Citing Tuttosport, Jorge Mendes reportedly approached Napoli over a possible swoop for the veteran forward. And, with United keen to push him towards Gli Azzurri, they reportedly also asked about Osimhen in return.

The Nigerian striker is regarded as one of European football’s most potent strikers, carrying with him a £84.8m (€100m) valuation.

However, the rumours have been quickly put to bed with Osimhen’s agent quickly refuting the claims.

As reported by trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Osimhen has no wish to leave Napoli. Furthermore, the player is seemingly excited by their forthcoming Champions League campaign; something United cannot offer him.

When questioned by Romano about links to United for Osimhen, Roberto Calenda insists the player is content.

“There are no negotiations or swap deal talks in progress,” his agent firmly stated. “Victor Osimhen is a Napoli player and he wants to play Champions League with Napoli. He’s proud of being in the UCL.”

Back to the drawing board for Erik ten Hag

While Ten Hag finally has his new midfield signing in Casemiro, landing a new attacker is seemingly proving equally difficult.

The club are, of course, looking to snare Antony from Ajax, though his huge valuation is making the deal problematic.

At the same time, United and Ten Hag need to find a solution for Ronaldo. If a suitable offer comes in, they will surely let the player leave. Even by United’s standards, it would make little sense to have their top earner sat in the stands.

To that end, it does seem likely he will leave if a suitable buyer can be found.

However, his exit brings around other issues. Ronaldo was comfortably United’s top scorer last season, netting 24 times in 38 games. Bruno Fernandes (10) was the only other United star to reach double figures.

As such, replacing his goals will be their main focus in the remaining days of the window.

If they do land Antony – more of a winger – funds will be tight if they plan another signing thereafter. To that end, United will surely need to be more savy in their future spending.

A deal for Victor Osimhen, in that event, surely looks beyond Manchester United.

One man who has also been linked, and may provide a potential solution, is Moussa Dembele. The striker is seemingly up for grabs for a bargain fee at Lyon this summer and may prove a sensible option.

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