Man Utd have been dealt a major blow in any pursuit of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, according to new reports.

The club have drawn up a shortlist of strikers they would like to sign in 2023 – whether that be in January or the summer months.

According to the Daily Mirror, three players on that list were Patrik Schick, Moussa Dembele and Jonathan David.

And a report from the Manchester Evening News last month claimed that the club were planning to ‘revive’ their interest in Osimhen, who has starred for Napoli over the last 18 months.

He is currently the top scorer in Serie A, with eight goals. That is despite the Nigeria international missing four games through injury.

Victor Osimhen pictured alongside Virgil van Dijk (Credit: Alamy)Last season, he netted 14 goals in 27 appearances in the league, and scored four in five games in the Europa League.

That has attracted the interest of other major clubs around Europe, with a price tag of £102m slapped on his head by Napoli. The Sun claimed that Napoli planned to use some of the money, if the player was sold, to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

But United, and other interested parties, may have to stay patient if they want to bring the 23-year-old to their club.

Man Utd dealt blow in Osimhen chase

The MEN reported on Wednesday that Osimhen is ‘of interest’ to the Red Devils, who are carefully plotting their next moves in the transfer market.

However, there are two major stumbling blocks for them to jump over.

The first is that Osimhen’s current deal with Napoli does not expire until 2025, meaning the Italian giants are in no rush to sell their prized asset, and can therefore demand a premium fee for the time being.

They are also in the Champions League last 16 stage and have lost just one game all season – last week’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in Europe, which had no impact on their finishing position of first in the group.

Luciano Spalletti’s side, therefore, remain unbeaten in Serie A, and are already eight points of second-placed AC Milan. They also have a far superior goal difference.

As a result, the MEN say that acquiring Osimhen mid-season would be ‘nigh-on impossible’ – and it appears a move for the striker this summer would be extremely challenging as well.