Good News as Chelsea waiting on Victor Osimhen contract decision
Chelsea are waiting to see whether or not Victor Osimhen will sign a new contract with Napoli in the coming weeks, 90min understands.
The reigning Serie A champions have been trying to hammer out fresh terms with Osimhen for most of 2023 and were close to reaching an agreement earlier this summer. But issues have arisen in recent weeks, to the point that a new contract would now need to offer a significant wage hike and include a release clause.
Osimhen and his representatives are yet to make a decision over whether to stay, and the recent TikTok incident, which saw Napoli’s own social team mock the striker for missing a penalty, has only complicated matters between the player and club.
Napoli publicly revealed their confidence that Osimhen will sign earlier this week, with president Aurelio de Laurentiis remarking: “There are no problems for Osimhen’s contract extension. All the players are always happy at Napoli. The problems arrive when they leave: these players can no longer find the main road for their careers.”
But interest in Osimhen, who has two years remaining on his current deal in Naples, remains strong around the continent, particularly from big spenders Chelsea. The five-time Premier League winners are keeping a close eye on proceedings, and will have a big decision to make if the 24-year-old decides not to ink fresh terms with Napoli.
What Chelsea would do in that instance remains to be seen. 90min understands that Chelsea’s hierarchy are currently split over how to address their striker problems in January, though the club do accept that a new option is required if Mauricio Pochettino is to have any chance of fulfilling their ambition of becoming title contenders.
The decision Chelsea need to make is whether to act in the winter window, when the club could be pushing to secure European football for next season, or wait until the summer when there would likely be more options available to them.
Feyenoord’s Santiago Gimenez has emerged as an option in recent weeks, while Ivan Toney, currently suspended for breaching betting regulations, is a long-term target of the club. Brentford are willing to sell their talisman in the new year, but he does carry a price tag in excess of £75m and is also being monitored by rivals Arsenal.
Osimhen would also cost Chelsea a significant amount of money, despite potentially having just a year remaining on his contract by the summer of 2024, and the club’s top brass are discussing with Pochettino the best way to proceed knowing that Christopher Nkunku is still to return from injury, hopefully in January.
One thing Chelsea will not do is panic, sources have further confirmed to 90min, and they will only make a move if a player they really want is available.