Man United fans surely will be fuming with hatred towards Liverpool football club for possibly a third time running, and not because of a defeat to eternal rivals but for the odd fact the club yet again got piped to a player the club has been interested in for months, with the confirmed signing of Cody Gakpo to Anfield.
Cody Gakpo according to reports was one of the players Erik ten Hag had enlisted in his transfer list upon becoming Man United manager, but on Monday night, the club stood to the news shortly after Liverpool’s match against Aston Villa that the Merseyside Reds had presumably nabbed their target.
This of course puts a dent on the Red Devils’ plans as the club will have to look elsewhere for players to arrive at Old Trafford.
Hence, we organized a list of presumably available players on January transfer that could be nabbed by Man United without Liverpool coming once more for them.
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Napoli has so far been the biggest surprise of the 2022–23 campaign, racking up 13 victories and just two losses to surge to the top of the Serie A standings and go past Liverpool in the Champions League group stage.
Despite missing a significant portion of the season due to injury, Osimhen has been crucial to their progress, scoring 10 goals in 14 appearances across all competitions, including an incredible late winner against Roma.
The incredible strike embodied all of the Nigerian’s best attributes: speed, strength, intellect, and skill as he made a brilliant run in behind before outmuscling Chris Smalling and launching an unstoppable volley into the far corner of the goal.
Osimhen appears to have the physical toughness to be a major hit in the Premier League, which is exactly what Ten Hag’s goal-shy United have been lacking this season. Osimhen also has the explosive turn of pace and quick thinking in the final third.
The 23-year-old is under contract with Naples until 2025 and is reputedly valued at more than £100 million ($121 million). However, if he continues to improve at such a rapid rate in the years to come, such a cost might prove to be an excellent investment for United.
Denzel Dumfries (Inter)
Denzel Dumfries was crucial to the Oranje’s remarkable run, which saw Louis van Gaal lead an underdog Netherlands team to the brink of the 2022 World Cup semifinals.
Dumfries excelled against the USMNT in the round of 16 when he contributed two assists and scored one of his own goals in a 3-1 victory. Dumfries was deployed in his preferred right wing-back position, which gave the team a crucial extra attacking outlet while also keeping him focused on his defensive responsibilities.
Fans of Inter will not have been shocked by the 26-year-old’s performances because they have watched him wreck havoc on the right side for the majority of his first 17 months at San Siro.
Since Diogo Dalot has taken Aaron Wan Bissaka’s place in the lineup due to the Englishman’s frightening decline over the previous year, United lack depth at that position.
Dumfries would be a step up from Dalot and is allegedly available in January for roughly £42 million ($51 million), but United will need to act quickly to capture his services given Chelsea’s competing interest.
Goncalo Ramos (Benfica)
This signing will sure carry a lot of narratives in the media and amongst Cristiano Ronaldo fans, if not a degree of hostilities towards the player considering how he became the proverbial replacement for football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo in the Portugal national team.
Bringing the Portuguese to Old Trafford will be like trading one Portuguese star forward for another who happens to be his replacement in the national team.
With Ronaldo’s contract being terminated, bringing in the Portuguese will be the narrative of the season.
Rui Costa, the president of Benfica, has reiterated that the 21-year-old won’t be moved unless his massive £103 million ($125 million) buy-out clause is satisfied.
Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)
Here is one thing about this transfer, it is a direct middle finger to Liverpool hijacking Cody Gakpo from Man United, and the sweet thing is, Joao Felix is eager to leave Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. Even Diego Simeone has attested to the fact, but again, it is a direct replacement of a Portuguese for another.
But a Joao Felix signing wouldn’t spark narratives like Goncalo Ramos would considering Felix wasn’t the Ronaldo replacement in the Portugal national team at the world cup, and of course, he didn’t score a hat-trick to spark debate.
Gil Marin, the president of Atletico, has acknowledged that Felix may be traded in 2023 since he has had trouble adjusting to life in the Spanish capital after his £113 million arrival in 2019.
”The relationship between him and the boss [Simeone], the minutes played, his motivation right now – it makes you think that the reasonable thing is that if there’s an option that’s good for the player, good for the club, we can look at it,” Marin recently told TVE when asked about Felix. ”I’d love him to stay personally, but I don’t think that’s the player’s idea.”
Marin’s allegations of tension between Felix and Simeone were further corroborated when the 23-year-old said, following his outstanding World Cup performance for Portugal against the Swiss, “when the conditions are favorable, things go better.”
Felix scored one goal and provided two assists while playing for Atletico in Qatar, however this season, he has only made 18 appearances for the club and has contributed to seven goals overall.