Arsenal and Manchester United both need to upgrade their attacking departments in the summer transfer window, which means they may compete for similar transfer targets. The fact that both teams are interested in Napoli’s Victor Osimhen demonstrates this.
The striker, on the other hand, has already stated that he would prefer to join Arsenal than Manchester United. Osimhen would be glad to join the Gunners, according to Italian news outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, however no formal agreement has yet been reached because the Nigerian international wants to play in the Champions League next season.
Manchester United’s recent poor form means that if Arsenal win just one of their final four Premier League games, they will be officially eliminated from contention for a place in the Champions League, with Ralf Rangnick’s side needing to keep a perfect record until the end of the season to even have a chance of finishing in the top four.
According to the Daily Mirror, this gives Arsenal a significant advantage in signing Osimhen, despite United’s interest in the striker. There are four games left in the Premier League this season, and Arsenal are in pole position to finish in the top four, with Arteta’s team two points ahead of Spurs in fifth place.
The Gunners will be desperate for two new strikers in the summer transfer window, with Alexandre Lacazette’s departure looking increasingly imminent, and Eddie Nketiah’s days at the Emirates looking increasingly numbered, despite his recent great play. Both players’ contracts are up at the end of the season, and they’ve been connected with exits from the club.
Nketiah is expected to join Crystal Palace on a free transfer this summer. Patrick Vieira’s failed to sign him at the start of the season due to a fee disagreement between the two teams, but that will no longer be an issue. Lacazette, meanwhile, has been linked with a return to Lyon, his former club.
If Nketiah and Lacazette leave, Folarin Balogun will be the only striker left at the club, implying that a signing will be needed to cope with the level of the UEFA Champions League if Arsenal beats Spurs to a fourth-place finish.
Osimhen is a powerful, swift, and athletic forward. He combines a quick turn of pace with long-distance speed, and he is more than capable of being a key threat for Arsenal on the counter-attack.
The Nigerian international would undoubtedly match Arsenal’s profile, and former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has already expressed interest in him. Osimhen has been the outstanding player for Napoli and his country after joining from Lille in France in 2019, where he scored 18 league goals in a single season.
Last year, Italian journalist Paolo Bargiggia stated that the Nigerian international was on the verge of joining Arsenal before deciding to join Napoli instead, and Osimhen has previously claimed that the Gunners had inquired about him as a teenager.
“I met with Arsene Wenger after the event (Under-17 World Cup) ended and he wanted me to come to Arsenal,” Osimhen told The Independent in 2020.
The Gunners have set their sights on Osimhen, according to Italian news site La Gazzette dello Sport, and are presently leading the race among major Premier League clubs to recruit him. According to the source, Napoli is expected to want £82 million for the striker.
If Arsenal is able to qualify for the Champions League next season, Edu should attempt to seal a move for the forward. Arsenal will undoubtedly have to spend a significant sum of money to resolve their striker crisis in time for next season, especially if Manchester United is vying for the same players. The allure of Champions League football, on the other hand, could be a significant plus for Edu.