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Manchester United facing summer dilemma over £100m Harry Kane or Napoli’s Victor Osimhen

Old Trafford sources have indicated that Osimhen better fits Ten Hag’s profile of wanting a more mobile striker who offers pace, strength and pressing, as well as goals.

Harry Kane celebrates after the win over Manchester City which saw him become Tottenham Hotspur's all-time top goalscorer. Photo: David Klein/Reuters© REUTERS


Erik ten Hag is facing a £100 million (€112m) striker dilemma at Manchester United this summer as he weighs up whether to move for Tottenham’s Harry Kane or Napoli’s rising star Victor Osimhen.

Signing a top striker is United’s priority and Ten Hag must decide whether to go for a Premier League proven shorter-term fix in Kane – and with it a virtual guarantee of goals – or take a calculated gamble on Osimhen developing into a world-beater for years to come.

Old Trafford sources have indicated that Osimhen better fits Ten Hag’s profile of wanting a more mobile striker who offers pace, strength and pressing, as well as goals.

Ten Hag has watched extensive footage of Osimhen since last summer and, while there are elements of the striker’s game the Dutchman is unsure about and he has had injury problems, it has been noted that his improvement has continued to gather pace this season.

Osimhen has been central to Napoli’s relentless pursuit of a first Serie A title for 33 years and scored twice in their 3-0 win over Spezia on Saturday, which took his tally to 16 in 17 league matches as they moved 13 points clear at the top.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is a notoriously tough negotiator, though, and with Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea also showing interest in Osimhen, the price for the Nigeria striker is likely to exceed £100m given the Italian club paid Lille a projected €80m for his services three years ago.

Neither deal would be straight forward, however. Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, will demand £100m from any English club for Kane should he fail to persuade the England captain – due to enter the final 12 months of his contract this summer – to sign a new deal. Levy is unlikely to make any negotiation process easy and if forced to offload Kane, his strong preference would be to sell overseas.

Kane became Tottenham’s all-time top scorer on Sunday when his goal in the 1-0 win over Manchester City made it 267 for the club and saw him surpass Jimmy Greaves’ 53-year record.

Spurs are hoping to convince Kane to sign a new contract but their hopes may hinge on the club winning a trophy this term and qualifying for the Champions League. Bayern Munich – who are still looking for a replacement for Robert Lewandowski – have been linked with Kane and Levy may also hope other foreign suitors come to the table if the player wants to leave.

Kane is desperate to win trophies first and foremost but having become Tottenham’s record scorer, he also has his sights set on eclipsing Alan Shearer’s record of 260 Premier League goals. He is currently on 200.

​Ten Hag recognises Kane offers a unique skill-set, creates as well as scores as a hybrid No 9 and No 10, knows the Premier League inside out, is a strong character accustomed to dealing with pressure and has never been dependent on pace.

​United are also fully conscious of the impact Kane has had on Son Heung-min’s game and vice-versa at Spurs and believe he could be a potent foil for Marcus Rashford, his England team-mate who is in the form of his life at Old Trafford.

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