Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that star scorer Victor Osimhen will depart the club in the summer after signing a new contract in December.
Osimhen is one of the world’s most sought-after forwards, having helped the Italian club win Serie A last season.
He has sparked intense interest from clubs around the country over the last year and will now spend his last six months at Naples.
Speaking earlier this week, he had already listed the Premier League as a possible future destination, not going so far as to specify where he would be playing his football, but throwing a huge clue that a move is on the cards.
“I have already made my decision on the next step to do at the end of the season,” he told CBS. “I already made up my mind. I already have my plan, I know what I want to do, the next step I want to take.”
Osimhen is a big target for both Arsenal and Chelsea due to their demand for a new centre-forward but a mid-season deal has always been off the cards.
A pre-agreement ahead of the summer has been seen as much more possible and now, with the 25-year-old in Ivory Coast for the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria, his president has opened up on what is to come.
“This was already known since this summer, our negotiations [over the new contract] were friendly, otherwise it would not have been so long,” he said. “We knew he would go to Real Madrid, PSG or a top English club.”
Last year, he had an opportunity to play in the Saudi Pro League, but he rejected the idea that his next move would be to the Middle East, expressing his desire to play in England. Now that Kylian Mbappe is also preparing for a significant move and the striker merry-go-round is about to begin, this recent update on Osimihen has raised concerns.
Osimhen appeared to have guaranteed his position at Napoli by signing an extension, but it now appears to be more of a bargaining chip.
According to Italian media, his contract has a release clause that allows him to be sold for approximately £113 million.
A deal of that magnitude is not feasible in the current landscape of European football financing, but it may easily be on the agenda by the summer.