Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has opened up on a possible summer departure for the highly sought-after Victor Osimhen.
The Nigerian international recently signed a new deal with the Serie A holders but has been heavily tipped to jump ship at the end of the season with a £120 million release clause in his contract.
Osimhen is not short on suitors, with plenty of European heavyweights, including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Chelsea already plotting a big money swoop.
Arsenal are also among a number of clubs keen on securing Osimhen’s services, but Chelsea have been tipped to pip their London rivals in the race.
The Blues have splurged heavily since the start of the Todd Boehly-led era, and that trend is expected to continue next season with the team desperately short of a goalscorer.
Chelsea have endured a miserable start to the season, and their wastefulness in the final third hasn’t helped.
Their need for a prolific marksman has drawn speculation about a move for wantaway Saudi Arabia star Karim Benzema, but those links have gone cold in recent days.
The West London giants are prepared to go all out to sign Osimhen next summer and have been handed a boost with De Laurentiis admitting the 25-year-old could end up in the Premier League.
“Osimhen? We knew how it would end,” De Laurentiis told Calciomercato. “The negotiations were long for this, to be able to leave as friends. Victor [Osimhen] will go to PSG, Real Madrid or an English team.”
Osimhen’s campaign has been affected by injuries but he returned eight goals and three assists in 18 games across all competitions before joining the Nigerian national team for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Chelsea’s chances of landing the marquee striker would be significantly heightened if the Blues can somehow snag a place in the Champions League or Europa League.
At the moment, they’re 12 points adrift of the Champions League places and nine behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
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