The Nigerian football news scene is abuzz with excitement over reports that claim striker Gift Orban could become a Manchester United player in the future.
Orban is currently one of the best players in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, where he has played for less than six months. His ability to find the back of the net is uncanny and many clubs are willing to sign him in the summer.
The Super Eagles prospect has now reportedly caught the eye of the most successful team in English football, who need a striker like Orban ahead of next season.
Barcelona's priority for the striker position is Vitor Roque, but his signing is complicated. For that reason, they are also following Rasmus Højlund and Gift Orban.
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) April 18, 2023
Man United scouts watch Gift Orban
The AFCON 2023 hopeful moved from Stabæk Fotball in Norway to KAA Gent in Belgium last January.
While at Stabæk, he was already a phenomenon but in under five months in Belgium, his stock has risen greatly. Hattricks, braces, attempted shots from the halfway line, and brilliant solo runs to end in a killer pass or a beautiful goal has characterised his time with the Belgian side.
The 20-year-old who was born to a Togolese mother and a Nigerian father, and was raised in Togo, was signed from Norway's second tier for less than €2 million.
Now, he is wanted by several Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, who knocked them out of the UEFA European Conference League in the quarter finals.
The Hammers watched Orban in that game and decided that he would be worth the investment.
The latest club to want him now is Manchester United. The Red Devils were reported to have sent scouts to Gent's match against Cercle Brugge where they saw Orban score a brilliant hat-trick to help his side's chances in the Conference League playoffs.
Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham are all watching Gent's Gift Orban, reports @NizaarKinsella
However, it will take a huge fee to prise the 19-goal striker away from Belgium this summerhttps://t.co/51eFG3sjye
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) May 18, 2023
Orban could cost €10 million, sources claim
Orban, who is expected to make the Super Eagles AFCON qualifiers 2023 fixtures squad for the upcoming match against Sierra Leone, is far from the finished product.
However, with a markup of more than €8 million, it may be difficult for Gent to hold on to the young Nigerian striker. This news comes after his sale was ruled out by Michel Louwagie, the technical director of KAA Gent.
Belgian football media outlet Nieuwsblad (via Tribal Football) claims that alongside Man United and other Premier League clubs, FC Porto and Barcelona are also scouting the striker.
Gift Orban hat-trick for Gent over the weekend.
Proper masterclass 💫 pic.twitter.com/sZLy9Y4wWP
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) May 15, 2023
It will be the second time a Nigerian has played for the Red Devils should Orban move to Old Trafford in the summer. The first was Odion Ighalo, who broke the ceiling and had an unforgettable six-month spell in the club before moving to Saudi Arabia.
Orban's transfer fee of €10 million will also not be much of a problem for United, as he can easily be moved on if he is not the right fit for them.
United also have their eyes on Victor Osimhen and Harry Kane and the experience of both players could see Orban lose out on the big move.
Regardless of what happens, it is a big win for the Nigeria Super Eagles prospect, who only moved to Europe in 2020.
This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago