Victor Osimhen: Napoli extension sets stage for thrilling transfer drama

Victor Osimhen might have signed a new contract with Napoli, but that is unlikely to cease transfer interest in the Super Eagles striker.

For decades, fans of Napoli pined for the glory days when they used to be a force to reckon with not in Italy but in Europe also, when winning silverware at the highest level was achievable and when they had the sort of committed and talented heroes that other teams in the division would kill for.

The halcyon days of the Naples-based outfit they ushered the club into the realm of a powerful football side within football circles.

Varying personalities, profiles, and backgrounds put this shirt on over Napoli’s storied 97-year legacy, administering an array of different playing styles and methods of expression on the pitch.

Victor Osimhen
Photo by Icon Sport

Diego Armando Maradona is by far the club’s greatest footballer of all time. He was instrumental in Napoli winning their first Scudetto title in 60 years. That explains why the Italian side rechristened the San Paolo stadium after the late Argentine.

The departure of Maradona was the harbinger of an ill-fated journey.

Victor Osimhen brings first Scudetto since Maradona's days

Several years later, a Nigerian by the name Victor Osimhen would lead Napoli to win their first scudetto title in 33 years. He scored 26 goals as Napoli outscored their Italian opposition to clinch the title.

 “I’m happy for all Napoli fans worldwide,” Osimhen said at the time. “No one deserves the Scudetto more than Neapolitans — more than us. I don’t care who scored. I just wanted to get the Scudetto.

“I want to enjoy this moment for the rest of my life. Then after the season my other dreams can come.

“But for now, it’s not a time to talk about my other dreams. I wanted to win this.”

Osimhen gushed after his second-half equaliser against Udinese confirmed Napoli as Serie A champions.

Not only did that goal make Napoli champions, it also made him the joint-highest goalscoring African in the Serie A alongside George Weah and the African player with the most goals in a single Italian championship season, breaking Samuel Eto'o's record in the process.

Having joined Napoli in July 2020 from Ligue 1 club Lille, Osimhen has become a very important figure at the Diego Maradona Stadium. It is not just his sporting prowess that has earned him such hallowed prominence.

From the moment of his debut, he latched on to the city’s character and understood their struggles.

With the 24-year-old’s heroics for Napoli and the European football landscape being fettered with vultures keen to make a quick buck from emerging and flourishing talents in Europe, the Nigerian striker is reportedly attracting English powerhouses Arsenal and Chelsea.

On Saturday, December 23, 2023, Osimhen and Napoli agreed to extend their contract by one year that will see Osimhen see out his contract in June 2026, assuming all other conditions remain the same.

While Osimhen’s new contract doesn’t guarantee that he will be unavailable for transfer next summer, it does strengthen Napoli’s bargaining position regarding his future.

The plan is for Osimhen to stay with the Italian club during the winter transfer window, until January and potentially depart the following summer, as the new contract includes a release clause of between 130-140 million Euros.

This new development will undoubtedly provide Napoli with the necessary financial resources to thoroughly explore the transfer market in search of a player of Osimhen’s calibre.

Additionally, it will ensure that, Victor Osimhen, who was bought for a fee of 70 million Euros in 2020 can leave Napoli at a reasonable fee.

Summarily, Osimhen’s new contract provides Napoli with ample financial leverage and sets the stage for potential transfer negotiations.  

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.