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Victor Osimhen’s demands may scuttle Premier League moves

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Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has reportedly outlined the criteria for his next club as rumours of a summer move to the Premier League continue to circulate.

Osimhen, 23, has registered 17 goals and six assists in all competitions this season, playing a vital role in Napoli’s push for the Serie A title.

Luciano Spalletti’s side will, at the very least, qualify for the Champions League, and it is for this reason that Osimhen would only move to a club that will also be competing in Europe’s top competition next season.

That’s according to the Mirror, who claimed the player’s representatives have been permitted by Napoli to send out feelers to Premier League clubs.

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It was reported earlier this week that Manchester United had submitted an ‘undeniable’ bid of over €100m for Osimhen but the demand for Champions League football would leave their hopes of signing the Nigeria international in tatters.

United are five points adrift of fourth-place Arsenal with three games to play, but the Gunners, who have also made Osimhen a target, are far from secure in their Champions League spot and still have to travel to fifth-place Spurs to play out the rearranged North London Derby.

Liverpool are another club eyeing Osimhen, but doubts persist over their willingness to get involved in a bidding war that is likely to exceed €100m, given the blistering form of their current attackers.

Osimhen suffered a serious facial injury in November but has scored seven goals in 10 appearances since his return.

ALSO READ  Super Eagles suffer Umar Sadiq blow ahead of Algeria friendly

He told BBC Sport Africa: “From the moment I had my surgery, I read some people saying ‘The season is over for him. When he comes back, he wouldn’t go head-to-head with a defender’. ‘Even with a mask, he cannot nod the ball’ and stuff like that. Most of all those doubts are actually a motivation for me. Because I know myself and I know the kind of heart that I’ve got. To be able to be back and keep the goals coming is a big thing for me.

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“I appreciate people that have worked so hard with me to make sure I’m okay even when I had the surgery and everything. They probably doubted me returning to my best because of the impact the facial incident could’ve had on my mental health.”

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NFF not aware of Finidi’s resignation -Gusau

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NFF not aware of Finidi’s resignation -Gusau

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, says he is unaware embattled Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has tendered his resignation.

This comes amid reports online that the coach resigned after the NFF announced Thursday that it would hire an “expatriate technical adviser” for the Eagles, following their dismal performances in the 2026 World Cup qualifying series.

Also read: NFF promises Eagles coach Finidi house, car after unveiling

The Eagles have managed just three points from a possible 12, and sit fifth in the six-team Group C, which has put their qualification hopes in jeopardy.

The Eagles dismal outings drew the ire of the country’s football-crazy populace, who are still smarting from the disappointment of the team’s non-qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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Mixed reactions trailed the NFF’s announcement on Thursday, with some followers of the team calling on the federation’s board members and Finidi to tender their resignations.

According to reports , Finidi is livid that the NFF leadership met with the sports minister two days ago, but failed to mention that players reported late to the camp and that they (NFF) did nothing to mobilise Nigerians in Ivory Coast to support the Eagles in last Monday’s match with Benin Republic.

The reports added that Finidi, who’s overseen just two Eagles games since he took charge in April, resigned from his post Tuesday (today) morning.

However, when our correspondent sent a WhatsApp message to Gusau to confirm if Finidi had resigned, he replied, “Not yet aware.”

ALSO READ  Spalletti relishes Osimhen, Simeone partnership

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I won’t play at Paris Olympics – Messi

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Lionel Messi said he will not be part of Argentina’s squad for the Paris Olympics as he is no longer at an age where he can play in every tournament.

The 36-year-old Inter Miami forward is currently preparing for Argentina’s Copa America title defence, which runs from June 20 to July 14 in the United States.

Also read: Injured Messi missing as Inter Miami lose US Open Cup final

In February, under-23 manager Javier Mascherano said Messi, who won gold with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had an invitation to join the squad for Paris.

“I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation,” Messi told ESPN.

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“It’s hard (to think about the Olympics right now) because we’re in Copa America. It would be two, three straight months of not being with the club, and more than anything I’m not at an age to be in everything.

“I have to choose carefully, and it would be too much to play two straight tournaments. I’ve been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with (Mascherano).

“It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, U20, memories I’ll never forget.”

The men’s football tournament at the Olympics takes place in July and August. Teams are allowed three overage players in their squads.

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Ten Hag remains Man Utd boss

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Erik ten Hag is set to remain as coach of Manchester United following a performance review of the Dutchman carried out by the Premier League club.

Rumours swirled regarding the future of Ten Hag after a poor second season in the hot seat at Old Trafford, with a lowly eighth-placed finish in the league and group stage Champions League exit.

 

Also read : EPL: Man Utd to cut January transfer budget

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But the 54-year-old coach did oversee an impressive 2-1 FA Cup final win against local rivals Manchester City in May to boost his chances of keeping his job.

Britain’s Press Association reported United have decided that Ten Hag will remain as coach after spending a fortnight reviewing the 2023-24 campaign and overall first-team operation.

With the former Ajax boss’ contract set to expire in Manchester next summer, negotiations over a contract extension have reportedly begun between the two parties.

Prior to the season-ending FA Cup final, reports suggested Ten Hag would be sacked regardless of the outcome of the match.

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