Breaking News as Victor Osimhen finally responds to Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag transfer offer as Man Utd plots big move for the striker

Manchester United target Victor Osimhen inspired Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Manchester United might have a £100million-plus coin to flip during the summer transfer window as they eye up the next step in their impressive rebuild.

Having allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to leave mid-season, the choice is quite simple for Erik ten Hag and his side moving forward; would they benefit most from having Victor Osimhen or Harry Kane around? In reality with so many factors at play, things will be a little more complex than making it a straight decision.

But as their public chase for Frenkie de Jong proved last summer, there are ways to combat missing out on primary targets. In that case, Ten Hag used the funds put aside for his former Ajax protégé to snap-up Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. Not a bad contingency plan by any means.

When it comes to their impending striker search, question number one for Ten Hag and key figures behind the scenes is do they want a frontman who thrives on running in behind and playing off the shoulder, or one who’s much better suited to dropping deep and, simultaneously, acting as a playmaker.

Osimhen and Kane offer different strengths and Ten Hag will have to tweak his tactical blueprint accordingly if he wins the race for one or the other. Crucially, though, you would expect either to guarantee goals and, in turn, that will take some pressure off the sensational Marcus Rashford.

Although early plans are in place to sign a long-term successor for Ronaldo next summer, outside noise will no doubt play a huge part in United signing their next No.9 in the positional sense. Will those selling clubs play ball and, if so, how much will Scudetto hopefuls Napoli or Tottenham demand for their prized assets?

United can only control so much by confirming their return to the Champions League or by showing just how enticing it would be to be the star attraction for a Ten Hag team. However, even prior knowledge of that was not enough to aid them last summer.

Despite their healthy relationship, Ten Hag did not get that nod from De Jong as he opted to stay put at Camp Nou for (at least) another season. United might be able to learn from that in terms of how long they pursue the top striking targets, but in many ways their market “failure” was out of their hands.

De Jong never truly appeared comfortable on a move and that must be the first requirement thrown towards Osimhen or Kane next summer. Fortunately for Ten Hag, though, the former has already seemingly opened the door when it comes to a potential big-money move, so that puts Osimhen in his crosshairs.

“When you are doing so well, top clubs around the world are watching,” acknowledged Osimhen during a chat with ESPN before leading Napoli to victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League on Tuesday night. His opener in a 2-0 win was his 20th goal of the season.

In turning home once again on the biggest stage, Osimhen was able to outshine one of the alternative options who have been tentatively linked with United – Randal Kolo Muani – who was dismissed before watching yet another masterclass Osimhen audition conclude.

“I’m focused on Napoli, right now, and they have the final say. I just want to help my team to win matches and win trophies. At the end of the season, we will see what’s going to happen, but that is not up to me. It’s for the club to decide.” That middle sentence will have mostly been music to Ten Hag’s ears.

Erik Ten Hag and Antony Martial

Despite putting his faith in Anthony Martial pre-season, the United manager has seldom been able to deploy his first-choice striker this campaign due to four separate injury setbacks. That makes it all the more incredible to note what the Dutchman has achieved, and might yet achieve, before the close of play.

Change is afoot in that regard and United will target a long-term successor to Ronaldo and Martial when the market reopens. Osimhen did not exactly issue a come-and-get-me plea with his comments, but they have to be seen as a green light for United and other potential suitors to come calling.

His performances in the Champions League will also come as proof that he can handle the pressure and perform on the biggest stage of all – another box Ten Hag can check should he decide Osimhen is his man this summer.

Ultimately, he has dropped a bigger hint than De Jong ever did throughout United’s previous chase for him. Now all that needs to be ironed out is the small matter of a rather hefty financial package to get their man.

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