Osimhen reportedly chooses Premier League club over PSG, Saudi Arabia

Premier League club Chelsea have reportedly won the race to sign Napoli forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigeria international has been a target of transfer speculation in the last six months following his impressive displays in the Serie A.

Osimhen is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world currently, having fired Napoli to the Serie A title last season. He was also the top scorer in the Italian top-flight last season after finding the back of the net 26 times.

While Osimhen’s numbers in front of goal have dropped a bit this term, he has still managed 17 goals and four assists in all competitions for Francesco Calzona’s side. However, all signs point to the fact that the striker will be departing the city of Naples at the end of the current campaign.

The 25-year-old joined Napoli from Lille in 2020 and has developed into a world-class forward during his four years in Italy. Osimhen signed a contract extension at Napoli in December, but reports suggest it was an arrangement for the club to insert a €130 million release clause into his contract ahead of a summer move. Osimhen himself has previously hinted at his desire to seek a new challenge, although he has so far been tight-lipped on where he will be heading next.

Victor Osimhen reportedly picks Chelsea as next destination

The striker’s modesty on his next destination has, however, not stopped the media from making speculations. Osimhen has been linked with several clubs in recent months, including Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and some Saudi Pro League teams.

According to Team Talk, Osimhen has decided to join Chelsea. The report suggests the Blues are preparing to table an offer that matches Napoli’s valuation of the striker, adding that Osimhen has given the green light for the move. Chelsea will reportedly offer the Super Eagles forward a seven-year contract in line with Todd Boehley administration’s plans of handing out long-term contracts to the club’s signings. 

The report adds that the Blues will also pay the former Lille striker a salary that is slightly higher than what he currently receives at Napoli. Despite agreeing personal terms with Osimhen, the report said Chelsea will consider Benjamin Sesko as a possible alternative if they’re unable to reach an agreement with Napoli on a transfer fee. 

At the start of the year, Arsenal were reported to be in the lead for the Nigeria international’s signature after identifying him as an ideal fit to bolster their squad for a title tilt, but Kai Havertz's impressive form late in the season is said to have changed the club’s mind.

In recent weeks, though, PSG have also been mentioned as a possible destination for Osimhen, with the Ligue 1 champions set to lose Kylian Mbappe at the end of the season after the French superstar refused to sign a contract extension. While Osimhen has also been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, he seems not to be interested in leaving Europe at the moment.

The former Wolfsburg forward reacted furiously to comments by Mamuka Jugeli, the agent of his Napoli teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, when he suggested the striker had accepted a huge offer from a Saudi Arabian club.

A few months back, in November, Osimhen also confirmed on The Obi One Podcast with John Mikel Obi that he indeed received a mouthwatering proposal from Saudi Arabia but turned it down to stay at Napoli. If the latest reports are anything to go by, then Osimhen will be playing in the Premier League for Chelsea next season.

How Osimhen will fit in at manager-less Chelsea

Meanwhile, Osimhen will have some adjustments to make if he eventually ends up at Chelsea. The Blues are currently lacking stability and are without a manager following Mauricio Pochettino’s surprise departure earlier this week.

This means it is still unclear which manager Osimhen will be playing under if he decides to join the club. Although the Nigerian is a prolific striker, he is often blighted by injuries, which is why he hasn’t been available all the time for Napoli this season.

Osimhen reportedly chooses Premier League club over PSG, Saudi Arabia
Photo by Icon Sport

Osimhen’s goals will definitely take Chelsea to the next level, but the club is still currently in a rebuilding process, with many of the players there far from the finished product. For a player who is currently 25 and entering his prime, Osimhen would certainly be targeting an environment that is stable enough to help him challenge for trophies.

He won’t get that at Chelsea at the moment, as the club is still far from challenging Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool for major honours. The Blues will also not participate in the UEFA Champions League next season after finishing sixth in the Premier League. 

The 25-year-old's quality is undoubted, and compared to Nicolas Jackson, who is Chelsea’s starting striker, the Nigeria international will walk straight into the starting lineup. As to whether the club has the players who will play to his strengths and help to bring the best out of him is another matter altogether. 

Osimhen reportedly chooses Premier League club over PSG, Saudi Arabia
Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is a Ghanaian journalist with a little over five years of experience writing about African football.

His articles and features have been published in renowned news media like Pulse Ghana, The Guardian, DW, Al Jazeera and Sportskeeda. His bylines can also be found in the UK journals World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.