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Victor Osimhen Refused Manchester United Transfer Because Of Odion Ighalo

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Victor Osimhen Refused Manchester United Transfer Because Of Odion Ighalo

Victor Osimhen turned down a transfer to Manchester United in 2020 because he did not want to disrespect fellow countryman Odion Ighalo.

The 23-year-old Nigerian striker, who became the most expensive African player ever when he joined Napoli from French side Lille in the summer of 2020, has been in fine form for club and country this season.

As a result of his fine form for the Serie A outfit, Osimhen has caught the attention of a host of European clubs, including Manchester United, who will be looking to strengthen their squad after a poor campaign.

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This isn't the first time United have been linked with Osimhen. In fact, the Premier League club were keen on bringing the Nigerian forward to Old Trafford after he scored 18 goals in 38 appearances during the 2019/20 campaign.

But in a remarkable interview with Complete Sports, Victor's brother, Andrew, claimed he rejected the move because of fellow countryman Odion Ighalo's presence at Old Trafford.

"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.

Image credit: Instagram
Image credit: Instagram
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Andrew added: "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."

Ighalo completed his dream move to Manchester United in January 2020 on a season-long loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.

He later extended his deal at United until January 2021, while Osimhen joined Serie A side Napoli for a fee of £74million.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy
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Back in April 2020, Osimhen refused to rule out a move to the Premier League in the future, 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.

"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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Two years after Osimhen refused to rule out a move to the Premier League, reports suggest Manchester United are now leading the race to sign the in-demand forward, who has netted 16 goals for Napoli this season.

Erik ten Hag's side are said to have launched an £84 million bid, according to La Repubblica, while Osmihen's agent, Roberto Calenda, had a 'meeting' with Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis on Wednesday to discuss his future.

Do you think the Nigerian would be a hit at Old Trafford?

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Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/victorosimhen9

Topics: Transfers, Manchester United, Napoli, Lille, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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