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Victor Osimhen Refused Manchester United Transfer Because Of Odion Ighalo

Victor Osimhen Refused Manchester United Transfer Because Of Odion Ighalo

Victor Osimhen turned down a summer transfer to Manchester United because he did not want to disrespect fellow countryman Odion Ighalo, according to his brother Andrew.

The 21-year-old striker, who became the most expensive African player ever when he joined Napoli from French side Lille last month, scored 18 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions last season.

Image: PA
Image: PA

As a result of his fine form for the Ligue 1 outfit, Osimhen caught the attention of a host of European clubs, including Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.

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In fact, the latter were reportedly very keen on bringing the Nigerian forward to Old Trafford but in a remarkable interview with Complete Sports, Victor's brother has claimed he rejected the move due to Ighalo's presence.

"It is very true that Manchester United wanted Victor, but he told me something like he had too much respect for Odion Ighalo to be competing for shirts with his senior colleague," Andrew Osimhen said.

"My brother holds Ighalo in high esteem and he just didn't see himself going to Old Trafford to battle for a striking role with the highest goalscorer at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt."

Image: PA
Image: PA
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Back in April, Osimhen refused to rule out a move to the Premier League, admitting he wants "to play for a big club in England one day."

The Nigerian striker also thanked Ighalo for his career advice.

"Of course, one day I'd like to play for a big club in England." he told The Independent.

'I've spoken to Odion [Ighalo] about it. He gave me very good advice, he's a legend and a big brother.

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"My goal is to play at one of the biggest clubs in the world but now I'm very happy in Lille. My priority is to play a lot of games. Signing for a big club and being on the bench is not exciting for me."

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Ighalo, who completed his dream move to United in January on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, has already extended his deal at the club until January 2021.

Osimhen, meanwhile, bagged an eight-minute hat-trick on his Napoli debut during a pre-season friendly win against L'Aquila last month, and has gone on to score three more in recent weeks.

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Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso has, however, warned Napoli fans to be patient with their big-money signing.

"It's too easy to get excited now, we've got to give him time and let him work, not put pressure on," said Gattuso.

"He is an important player and we paid a lot for him, but there were no doubts he would give us something different that we haven't had in my time here. There's a long way to go."

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Thoughts on Osimhen's decision to reject a move to Manchester United out of respect for Odion Ighalo?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Instagram/Victor Osimhen

Topics: Odion Ighalo, Manchester United, Transfers, Premier League, Napoli, Transfer news

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Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.