Good News as Chelsea receives approval to sign Osimhen

Chelsea have been given the green light to sign Osimhen

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says the club are powerless to prevent Victor Osimhen from leaving the club amid strong interest from the Premier League.

Osimhen helped end Napoli’s 33-year wait for the Scudetto with a stunning return of 26 goals in 32 games last term and is widely regarded as one of the most complete strikers in European football.

But Napoli are braced for a bidding war for Osimhen in the summer and the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid have all been mooted as potential suitors, with the forward last month revealing he had already made a decision over his future.

Osimhen will not come cheap, though, given the sought-after Nigeria international reportedly has an eye-watering release clause of between €120million (£102.6m) and €130m (£111.2m) in his contract in Naples.

On the back of their stunning title-winning campaign, Napoli were determined to keep hold of Osimhen in January. However, it appears the Italian champions have grown resigned to losing their prized possession at the end of the season should a suitable offer be tabled for the attacker.

‘Victor is another good player that Napoli have. We had [Edinson] Cavani, [Gonzalo] Higuain, [Ezequiel] Lavezzi and we had [Dries] Mertens, we had a lot of people who were fantastic,’ Napoli president De Laurentiis told Sky Sports.

‘Osimhen is a very great player – but you know: Napoli is a fantastic place. There are certain players who fell in love with Napoli and stayed, like [Marek] Hamsik for 11 years. Or like others for eight years.

‘And there are others who are attracted by Real Madrid, by PSG, by Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea. So you cannot stop them, especially when they have a fixed amount of money where they can be bought.

‘He has a release clause. It’s a very big amount of money.’

Asked whether Osimhen – the 2023 Serie A Footballer of the Year – will stay at Napoli beyond the end of the season, he replied: ‘Who knows who will leave? We will see.

‘The money is the last problem for Napoli. We always made very good acquisitions as we did in the past. We will do so in the future.

‘The problem is just sentimental problems. When you see a player leave, it’s like a son.

‘You are also happy if this son has a fantastic success everywhere else.’

Speaking at the Web Summit Qatar this week, John Obi Mikel talked up Osimhen completing a move to Stamford Bridge, claiming his fellow countryman ‘loved’ Chelsea.

‘I’m still Osimhen’s agent, trying to get him to Chelsea! I’ve got 20 per cent of that deal, so I hope it works out!’ the ex-Chelsea midfielder joked.

Asked whether the move was a ‘genuine possibility’ for Chelsea, Mikel replied: ‘I think there is genuine interest between both [parties]. I think he loves the club, he wants to come to the club.

‘Obviously, he wants to follow my footsteps as a Nigerian player who has played for Chelsea – Victor Moses, Celestine Babayaro, not a lot of us.

‘London as well, fantastic city, instead of going to Liverpool or places like that you want to live in London.

‘But he also has a lot of interest. Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United.

‘I’m still pushing, sending him messages, trying to make sure he doesn’t expect to much, narrow you’re mind on one club – the Blues.

‘I am pushing him, I hope he comes to the club.

‘I think one thing we lack, I think everyone who watch the [Carabao Cup] final on Sunday will see that one thing we are lacking is scoring goals. We need that striker who will score goals.’

‘And that’s what Victor will give you. He’s not the most skilful guy, but goals are definitely guaranteed.

‘If he could get us 20 plus a season, 25, who knows, that’s what Erling Haaland does, that’s why he’s one of the best, he’s not really there for link-ups and all that, get the ball in the box and he will finish. That’s something Victor will definitely give us.

‘Let’s hope it works out and he comes to Chelsea and becomes a legend.’

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