Victor Osimhen leaves door open to Napoli exit as Chelsea and Manchester United eye transfer | OneFootball

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Evening Standard

·4 June 2023

Victor Osimhen leaves door open to Napoli exit as Chelsea and Manchester United eye transfer

Article image:Victor Osimhen leaves door open to Napoli exit as Chelsea and Manchester United eye transfer


ictor Osimhen has left the door open to a potential summer exit from Napoli amid transfer interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

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The Nigerian international has become one of Europe’s top strikers during his three seasons at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, hitting 30 goals this term alone to fire Luciano Spalletti’s side to their first Serie A title since 1990.

Osimhen has 58 in total in a century of appearances since arriving from French club Lille in the summer of 2020, leading to frequent speculation over a big-money exit.

Chelsea are known to be admirers of the 24-year-old, who also has 15 goals in 24 senior caps for Nigeria, as they seek to significantly bolster a failing attack that scored a pitiful 38 goals en route to their lowest Premier League finish since 1994.

The Blues - who have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager - are targeting a top-class new No9 to supplement the expected £53million arrival of the Bundesliga’s joint-top scorer Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig, with a decision on the future of Romelu Lukaku expected to be taken after Inter Milan’s Champions League final appearance against Manchester City in Istanbul next weekend.

Chelsea and Pochettino have already decided that Atletico Madrid loanee Joao Felix will not be returning on a permanent transfer this summer, meanwhile.

Osimhen is also said to be on the radar at Manchester United, who are similarly aiming for a major addition up front this summer to support Marcus Rashford with doubts surrounding the future of Anthony Martial and Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst not being signed on a permanent basis.

Though Tottenham talisman Harry Kane is Erik ten Hag’s top target, Osimhen is another name frequently linked with United, along with the likes of Goncalo Ramos, Randal Kolo Muani, Ramus Hojlund and Dusan Vlahovic.

A rumoured price tag worth in excess of £100m for a player who still has two years left to run on his current Napoli contract is expected to be a key sticking point to Osimhen potentially sealing a switch to the Premier League this summer, with Chelsea considering alternatives.

The player himself appears nonplussed over his future however, insisting he is happy to go along with whatever decisions are made over the coming weeks and months by outspoken Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

“I don’t know, the president has to decide that,” Osimhen told DAZN when asked if he would stay at Napoli next season.

“I love the people of Napoli, they have shown me so much love. For me, I don’t mind, the president decides and I will just go with the flow.”

Osimhen made what could prove to be his final Napoli appearance against Sampdoria on Sunday evening, registering a second-half penalty to finish on 26 goals for the league campaign, becoming the first African player ever to win the Serie A top scorer award - the coveted Capocannoniere.

“I’m happy for this award,” he added. “It’s an amazing feeling for me. I won the Scudetto, which is the most important thing in my career so far. I am grateful to God for this season, for my team-mates, my family, for the Neapolitans and they deserve all of this.”

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