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Cristiano Ronaldo pushing for loan to Napoli or Sporting but Victor Osimhen transfer to Man United unlikely

Manchester United have registered their interest in the highly rated Napoli striker Osimhen, but a swap deal with Ronaldo is unlikely to transpire over the coming days before the transfer deadline

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Monday 29 August 2022 16:33 BST
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is searching for a way back into the Champions League
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is searching for a way back into the Champions League (Martin Rickett/PA)

Jorge Mendes is making a last attempt to get Cristiano Ronaldo regular Champions League football, with a loan option to either Napoli or Sporting now among the few remaining options.

The Portuguese “super agent” was in discussions with the Manchester United hierarchy at the weekend to try and “unblock” the situation, although a key issue remains how few takers there are for the 37-year-old.

Mendes has been in contact with both Napoli and Ronaldo's first club, Sporting, in the last few days, as both appear amenable to a deal. Any move would likely be a loan to see out the remaining year of Ronaldo's two-year contract at Old Trafford, with United paying a portion of the wages. The extent of the Portuguese’s salary – understood to be more than £500,000 a week – has been one of the major obstacles to a move this summer, with most top clubs feeling his impact is no longer worth the money.

Any deal could yet have a knock-on impact on the rest of United's business, in what is set to be a busy few days for the club.

While Napoli striker Victor Osimhen potentially going to Old Trafford has been raised in discussions with the Italian club, it is currently seen as unlikely for this window. Signing the 23-year-old Nigerian international, who scored 18 goals in all competitions last season, would require a bid of more than £100m, with United already set to spend a similar figure on Ajax’s Antony, and talks have focused on how such a deal might be more suitable for the budget of summer 2023.

Napoli meanwhile don’t want to let the entirety of their 2021-22 spine go, having already lost Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens to Chelsea, Toronto and Galatasaray respectively, and know there could well be an auction for the highly rated Osimhen.

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