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Manchester United on a three horse race for CSKA Moscow star

FOOTBALL By Mirror | February 1st 2016

Ranieri's league leaders will try again after having had several bids for the CSKA Moscow striker rejected but face competition from two other Prem sides

Leicester are set to take the fight for CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa to the Deadline Day wire.

Mirror Sport revealed last week that the Foxes had had a £15million bid rejected for the highly-rated Nigeria captain, 23. Manchester United and Southampton have since declared their interest.

Leicester have failed with two further offers, the latest understood to be £18.7million. But they are ready to return before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Boss Claudio Ranieri is a huge fan of Musa and sees the CSKA forward as the ideal frontman to boost his side’s shock Premier League title bid.

Southampton entered the fray over the weekend with their own striker, Graziano Pelle, looking to return to Italy.

And United are keen on speedy Musa’s versatility. He has scored 10 goals in 29 appearances for his club side this season.

He can play on the wing, as an attacking midfielder or as a striker and has scored 11 times in 56 appearances for his country.

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Two of those goals came in a thriller against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup. The Super Eagles were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Lionel Messi’s side.

CSKA were on Sunday night insistent that Musa, who has been with them since 2012, is going nowhere.

The player himself, however, has already told friends that he is “excited” at the prospect of a move to the Premier League.

His club, however, want to keep him at least until the summer. If they are unable to do so they want to get as close to his £22.8million buyout clause as they can. It is believed CSKA would accept around £20million.

Manchester United are the lowest scorers in the Premier League’s top six with Wayne Rooney scoring just six goals in the top flight this season.

Southampton, meanwhile, are interested because Pelle is unhappy at being pushed down the pecking order by Charlie Austin.

Leicester have made moves for a string of other strikers, including an £11million bid for Chelsea’s Loic Remy.

Musa, however, is understood to be the player on whom they are most keen.

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