Man Utd and Liverpool get boost as Osimhen swap deal ‘off the table’

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Manchester United and Liverpool could both be set to benefit from Bayern Munich’s decision to abandon their pursuit of Napoli star Victor Osimhen after the Bundesliga giants cooled their interest in the striker, according to reports. United head coach Erik ten Hag has made it abundantly clear he wants to bring in a world-class central striker this summer and Osimhen is understood to be one of his top targets, along with Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

The Nigeria international has bagged 22 goals in 27 Serie A appearances to help Napoli clinch their first league title in 33 years and his goalscoring exploits have not gone unnoticed amongst the European elite.

United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea are in desperate need of a regular goalscorer and have been tipped to launch a £131million bid for Osimhen this summer, while Bayern were thought to be monitoring his situation ahead of offering a potential swap deal.

But Bild reporter Christian Falk, quoted by Caught Offside, has claimed the 24-year-old is ‘no longer a target’ for the Bavarian outfit after deciding to concentrate on other strikers this summer.

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Instead, Thomas Tuchel’s side are looking at Eintracht Frankfurt star Randal Kolo Muani, who has impressed since featuring for France at the World Cup.

Bayern technical director Marco Neppe was reportedly spotted at a recent Aston Villa game to run the rule over Ollie Watkins after the striker’s recent purple patch in front of goal, but the German side have ‘decided against’ pursuing the 27-year-old.

It means United now have one fewer team to battle against in the race for Osimhen’s signature and they could get a clear run at trying to sign Osimhen if Chelsea cannot afford the £150m-rated frontman.

However, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has insisted their prized asset is not for sale following Napoli’s title celebrations on Thursday.

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“I will not sell Victor Osimhen this summer – no way!” he told Cinque Minuti.

United have experienced dealing with the strong-willed Napoli president before when they were keen on Kalidou Koulibaly, only for the Serie A side to demand a huge fee for the defender.

He ended up staying in Naples for eight years before joining Chelsea last summer, and there is a feeling Napoli will be even more determined to hang onto their top striker following their Scudetto success.

Meanwhile, Bayern’s decision to focus their efforts elsewhere could be music to the ears of Liverpool, who have been linked with a move to re-sign Sadio Mane.

The Senegalese, 31, left the Reds in a £34m deal last summer but his recent fallout with team-mate Leroy Sane has cast doubt over his future.

It was claimed the Bundesliga champions would offer Mane plus a huge cash sum to tempt Napoli into a sale.

But now they have called off the deal, it will open the door for a potential emotional homecoming for Mane at Anfield this summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to rebuild his squad after a disappointing campaign.

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