Chelsea pull the plug on player-plus-cash deal for Osimhen

Victor Osimhen's time at Napoli appears to be nearing its end. After a four-year spell that saw him blossom from a promising youngster to a world-class striker, the 25-year-old Nigeria international seems destined for a new challenge.

Osimhen arrived at Napoli in 2020 from Lille, a raw talent with immense potential. He began to showcase his brilliance in flashes during his first two seasons, but it was the 2022/23 campaign that truly catapulted him into the spotlight. Spearheading Napoli's charge to the Serie A title, Osimhen dominated the competition, bagging a staggering 26 goals and claiming the Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer) award.

Interest from Europe's top clubs

This explosive season turned Osimhen into a coveted asset. While his reputation soared, it strained his relationship with Napoli's faithful, who now appear resigned to losing their prized attacker. Osimhen himself hasn't exactly quelled the transfer talk, with veiled comments hinting at a potential departure.

In recent months, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and even some Saudi Arabian clubs have been linked to Osimhen. PSG reportedly considered meeting Napoli's €130 million asking price, while Chelsea were said to be exploring a player-plus-cash deal to circumvent Premier League financial regulations

Osimhen, however, has made his disinterest in a move to Saudi Arabia clear, favoring a continuation of his European adventure.

Osimhen draws closer to Chelsea, with London club ready to break the bank
Victor Osimhen-Photo by Icon Sport

Chelsea cool interest in Victor Osimhen

However, a recent update from Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano throws a curveball into the equation. Romano claims that Chelsea, despite tracking Osimhen for years, have not initiated formal discussions regarding his transfer. This comes alongside news that Chelsea are prioritising a different striker for next season, potentially ending their pursuit of the Nigerian.

Despite the setback from Chelsea, Osimhen remains a highly sought-after commodity. His £113 million release clause and Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis' confirmation of his departure this summer ensure a busy transfer window for the striker's representatives.

Premier League rivals Arsenal are reportedly keeping a close eye on the situation, as are PSG. However, recent reports suggest a change of heart at the French club. New manager Luis Enrique supposedly favors Real Madrid's Rodrygo Goes as a replacement for the departing Kylian Mbappé, shifting their focus away from Osimhen.

While Osimhen's dip in form during the recently concluded season (17 goals across all competitions) might raise some eyebrows, his 2022/23 heroics remain a powerful testament to his capabilities. He possesses a potent combination of pace, power, and finishing that has earned him comparisons to legendary African strikers like Didier Drogba.

Where is Osimhen’s next home?

The question now is, where will Osimhen land? The reported cooling of interest from Chelsea might open the door for other clubs. Arsenal's reported interest could materialise into a concrete offer, while a potential bidding war cannot be ruled out if other clubs join the fray.

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Photo by Icon Sport

One thing seems certain. despite the recent developments with Chelsea, Osimhen will not be short of suitors. His departure from Napoli marks the end of an era for the club, but for the Nigerian forward, it represents an exciting new chapter in his already impressive career. Only time will tell which club will be fortunate enough to secure his services and witness the next chapter of ‘Ijaya Olusosun' unfold.

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Toyosi Afolayan

Toyosi Afolayan is a sports journalist who breathes life into the games we love. He loves to combine insightful analysis with historical background, creating a richer understanding of sports. Afolayan's expertise ranges from captivating narratives to live broadcasts, captivating audiences across platforms like Ojbsport, AllNigeriaSoccer, TVC Entertainment, Bounce Networks, Kwara TV, ICIR, EaglesTracker, and NFF TV. His background in History and International Studies adds depth, revealing the connections between sports, politics, and national identity.