Red Devils make Slovakian star their top target for January.
Manchester United are set to launch a sensational big-money bid of around £35m to land Napoli star Marek Hamsik in the January transfer window, CaughtOffside understands.
The 26-year-old is one of the best attacking mifielders in Serie A, having weighed in heavily with goals and assists consistently since joining the club in 2007, and could be the ideal solution to David Moyes’ problems in that area of the pitch, as the Red Devils are still missing the creative influence of the recently-retired Paul Scholes.
Hamsik has scored four goals in two games this season as Napoli have made a flying start in Serie A under new manager Rafael Benitez, and the Italians will be keen not to sell such an important player in the middle of the season, particularly having lost star striker Edinson Cavani over the summer as he left the club for big-spending PSG.
Still, Napoli worked well to replace Cavani with the signings of Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon, and may feel that if they are smart in the transfer market again they could rebuild their squad to replace Hamsik as well, as United will be willing to offer money that is hard to turn down.
Moyes had targeted the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara over the summer, only for the latter to choose a move to Bayern Munich while the former remained with Barcelona, though Hamsik will be seen as a great alternative to the pair, and a more realistic target than Juan Mata, who could be on the way out of Chelsea, but whom the Blues won’t want to sell to a title rival.
Napoli could end up being one of the clubs who take advantage of Mata’s situation at Chelsea, and will be particularly keen to do so if they lose Hamsik, though they would face plenty of competition for the Spanish international.
With the former Valencia man being surprisingly frozen out at Chelsea by new manager Jose Mourinho this season, the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid could all be ready to pounce this January if the 25-year-old is still not playing regular football, though the player himself could be tempted to be reunited with Benitez, whom he played under at Chelsea last season.
However, Napoli may also consider attempting to land Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa as part of a deal for Hamsik, with the Japanese playmaker another highly-rated talent not getting the game time he deserves at his current club. It seems possible that Moyes may be happy to let Kagawa go, particularly if it can bring down a potential fee for Hamsik.