The English Premier League giants had the Nigeria international on their radar before making progress in their chase for their primary transfer target
Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has disclosed the two reasons he believes were behind Victor Osimhen’s decision to shoot down rumours of a possible move to Manchester United.
Two goals and two league games into the new Serie A season, Osimhen’s name was thrown back into the transfer mill as Man United struggled to complete their transfer dealings.
The 20-time Premier League winners had prioritised Ajax attacker Antony, but the reigning Eredivisie champions were not interested in a sale.
With time running out in the transfer window, the Red Devils were willing to look at other options, one of which was Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.
Celebrated agent Jorge Mendes was reportedly cooking a super-deal that would take Osimhen to Old Trafford and United’s Cristiano Ronaldo to Napoli.
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Osimhen, though, was not in favour of such a switch.
This much was contained in a short statement released by his representative Roberto Calenda on Twitter.
The Italian agent wrote: “No negotiations in progress, no swaps. Victor Osimhen is a Napoli player and wants to play the Champions League with Napoli after winning it on the pitch with pride together with the coach and his teammates.”
Napoli’s head coach Luciano Spalletti has expressed his delight that Osimhen is concentrating on staying in Naples.
Spalletti noted that one of the reasons the Super Eagles striker decided to stay at Napoli is his desire to play in the UEFA Champions League.
Napoli are in the knockout stages of the competition. Manchester United will campaign in the Europa League this season.
Another reason that stood out for Spalletti in the Calenda statement is Osimhen’s genuine love for his Napoli teammates.
The former AS Roma manager is pleased to have a hungry and committed Osimhen in the Napoli dressing room.
“(Osimhen) replied,” Spalletti responded when asked if he had spoken to Osimhen about the purported move to United.
“Maybe through his agent, he said he wants to play the Champions League. He showed that he is doing well in this group. He loves his teammates; he is willing to chase opponents for his teammates.
“In addition to being a top terminal for any team. He is very strong in his head, very strong in speed to attack the spaces, and physical for the ball on him. Having him available and with his head here is the top.”
Manchester United are expected to switch off their interest in Osimhen after the English side made a breakthrough in their negotiations with Ajax for Brazil’s Antony.