Chelsea are not giving up on their chase of Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, who currently plies his trade at Napoli in the Italian Serie A.
The 24-year-old is on the brink of ending his groundbreaking season as the top scorer of Italian football’s top flight and this will make him the first African to earn the Capocannoniere award in the competition’s history.
His 23 goals so far has helped Napoli win the Scudetto for the third time in their history that spans more than a century. It was also their first title in 33 years and the city has immortalised the former LOSC Lille man in several ways for his great achievement.
Osimhen’s signing in 2020 marked the beginning of a run that saw them inch closer to the title before eventually clinching it in early May of 2023.
Clubs have had their eye on the Nigerian in that time period and were ready to take him off Napoli’s hands in the summer. Osimhen stayed, however, to achieve history. Now, he is almost certain to leave and there is a long line waiting outside of Aurelio De Laurentiis’ door at the club’s headquarters.
Leading that line, according to recent reports, is Chelsea who, despite De Laurentiis stating that he will not be letting Osimhen go this summer, are constantly in contact with the club hoping to accept their offer.
Osimhen has a contract with the Serie A champions until 2025 and could cost as much as £150 million. Chelsea, owned by the consortium led by billionaire American businessman and sportpreneur Todd Boehly, are pushing to get their seat at the negotiation table regardless.
The Blues, who will finish below the top 10 in the Premier League this season for the first time since the 1990s, have already shelled out north of £600 million in transfer fees since coming under new ownership. It is understood that a clear out is in the works for the summer, but that clear out could not mean a thing as they are going back into the market with another war chest.
Osimhen is top of their transfer wishlist and although they will have to sell players to afford him some space on their wages books, they are still pushing for his signing.
Napoli are also reportedly interested in Hakim Ziyech and Chelsea intend to use the Moroccan to sweeten the deal for the Serie A champions.
Osimhen’s desire to play in the Premier League and his childhood support of Chelsea thanks to his idol, Stamford Bridge legend Didier Drogba, could lead to a sentimental exit for the Nigerian.
There is also the possibility of Osimhen playing next season under a different manager as De Laurentiis and Luciano Spaletti have come to a loggerheads about the latter’s contract extension. This could lead to the striker opting for a transfer instead.
It remains to be seen how Boehly and his co-decision makers would approach this situation.