Manchester United have been given hope that they can complete a deal for a Napoli star, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, who wants to move to the Premier League.
The southern Italian outfit have recently won their first Scudetto in over 30 years, strolling to the Serie A championship in style. But plenty of this new Napoli side have drawn interest from suitors across Europe, including Manchester United.
The Red Devils are actually in for two Napoli stars as manager Erik ten Hag looks to reshape a squad that have faltered in recent weeks in their pursuit for top four.
According to Naples-based outlet Il Mattino, defender Kim Min-jae has agreed his transfer to the 20-time English league champions already, with just the final details to be finalised.
Il Mattino has also claimed that United are in pole position for Kim’s Napoli team-mate Victor Osimhen, who is wanted by a host of clubs following an incredible season. There are differing reports over the availability of Osimhen, however, with Football Insider recently claiming that the pursuit for the striker is over already, due to Napoli’s high demands.
Tuttomercatoweb claims that United are winning to pay an extra €3 million to secure Kim ahead of their rivals, though. United left most of their business late last summer and Ten Hag is keen to avoid such a repeat this time around.
United could well be in for another central defender on top of the South Korean, too. Whispers persist that both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof will be leaving Old Trafford this summer. Luke Shaw has filled in at centre-back in the recent absence of Lisandro Martinez, leaving United short in numbers defensively.
Kim Min-jae of Napoli celebrates with fans on the pitch at full-time of the Serie A match between Udinese and Napoli at the Dacia Arena on May 4 in Udine, Italy.
Kim Min-jae of Napoli celebrates with fans on the pitch at full-time of the Serie A match between Udinese .
The Red Devils have also been linked with Axel Disasi of Monaco.
The rumour mill is ticking over when it comes to new faces at Old Trafford. Two Brighton stars have been linked, with another two Bundesliga players rumoured.
Three big names have been linked with exits, however, while James Ward-Prowse is reportedly on the midfield shortlist. Goncalo Ramos is a target and Bruno Fernandes might yet leave.
Vinicius Junior: Real Madrid’s €1bn One-Club Man Who Will Rival Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe
Telegraph Sport can confirm that, even though it has not been officially announced by the club, Vinicius last summer signed a contract with Real that runs until 2027 and includes a huge €1 billion (£867 million) release clause.
And – speaking exclusively via a video call from his office in Sao Paulo, Brazil – the long-term agent of Vinicius, Frederico Pena, expressed his belief that his star client could stay at Real Madrid for his entire career.
Pena, who negotiated Vinicius’s move to Real as an 18-year-old in 2018, said, “Vini is very close with Real Madrid and he’s so happy there. He’s very at ease, he loves the club. He’s been there so long, he’s kind of turned into a man there.”
While playing for Real in the coming years is believed to be on Haaland’s bucket list, it would appear Vinicius has no plans to make Wednesday night’s second-leg trip to Manchester permanent in the near future.
On whether or not Vinicius could move to England one day, Pena added, “I can’t really see that happening right now, but who knows, these things change in football and there’s things you would never imagine seeing that happen. I would just say if he were to leave Real Madrid someday, it would make no sense for it to be somewhere other than the Premier League.
“But will he one day leave Real Madrid or will he be a one-club kind of player? I would tell you right now there’s a big chance that he’s the kind of player who stays in one club and makes history there and stays there for 15-plus years.”
Vinicius enhanced his reputation as one of the best players in the world with a stunning goal in Madrid last week and has travelled to Manchester as Real’s biggest attacking threat. He netted the winner in last season’s final against Liverpool and winning the Champions League for a second successive year would clinch the 22-year-old’s 10th title with the Spaniards already.
Along with City striker Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius is expected to compete for the major individual honours now the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era is coming to an end.
As revealed by Telegraph Sport last week, Real retain an interest in Mbappe and could try to team him up with Vinicius and Haaland over the next few years in what would represent a return to the Galacticos era, which is likely to also include England midfielder Jude Bellingham.
“I think the Ronaldo and Messi era was very, very unique,” said Pena. “I don’t know if we can think about a rivalry to match that over such a long period of time.
“I think we’ll go back to a time where there’s a bigger group of players who will be in that spotlight. For instance, Haaland is playing in the Premier League, which has the biggest global reach and that will play a part. But Haaland plays for Norway who are not fighting for the World Cup, so I think we will go back to a healthy time like when there was Ronaldo and Zidane and Ronaldinho, and other players.
“Vini is such a professional athlete and he’s so disciplined, I think he will be at that level for the next decade and more, but I don’t think it will only be those three players (Vinicius, Haaland and Mbappe). I think it will evolve in a different way.”
While Vinicius is the darling of the Real fans and fast becoming a global superstar, he has also been the target of abuse. Eight complaints of racist abuse being aimed at the Brazilian have been filed to La Liga this season and Barcelona’s title-winning celebrations were marred by cries of ‘Die Vinicius’ being captured on camera.
The way in which he has coped with the abuse and pressure that has come with his superb performances has been just as impressive as his form on the pitch, and Pena revealed that preparation for the mental and physical challenges Vinicius might face started before he celebrated his 14th birthday.
“We’ve been working together now for almost 10 years. We started in 2014, it was before he turned 14,” said Pena. “In the beginning, the work is giving support and advice because at that age players don’t really have agents and they don’t have commercial opportunities.
“So it’s getting to know how we use the information of past experiences, to make his life better and to have a better path. We have a lot of people in the agency who also have experience with football youth academies, so a lot of work was done regarding nutrition, mental coaching and training and physiotherapy.
“A lot of it is the players understanding how serious this is and how if you want to be at the top, top level, the sport has changed from the times of Romero and the original Ronaldo. Before, footballers were in a grey area between being an artist and an athlete. They didn’t treat their bodies as if they were Olympians.
“Now, they are high-performance athletes. It’s about letting them know that this is serious stuff and the earlier you start, the better for your entire career. This is how we start dealing with these young guys. It’s more of an advisory role in the beginning, more than agency work.”