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The Victor Osimhen saga – What Next for him?

AFCON finalist and Africa’s current best player, Victor Osimhen, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Serie A club for the last 12 months.

Osimhen has scored 13 goals in 22 appearances for Napoli this season, but it’s his form from last year that caught the attention of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Last year, the forward scored 31 goals in 39 appearances and helped Napoli win their first Serie A title since 1990.

Now the striker is looking increasingly likely to leave the Italian club this summer, with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, amongst others, have shown an inkling to get his signatures on or before the summer.

According to UK publication, The Independent, Manchester United are preparing an offer of €110 million as they hope to land the Nigerian international during the next transfer window. And with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group taking control at Old Trafford, the Premier League giants are eyeing a massive overhaul of their squad ahead of the 2024/25 season.

League rivals Chelsea are prioritising a move for a new striker in the summer too according to a report from football.london.

It is understood amongst the hierarchy at the London club that Osimhen is at the top of the club’s list of potential options. Although, it has also been reported that they may have to look elsewhere for alternatives, considering the terms of his contract and wage demands the Nigerian representatives have presented forward. 

Accordingly, journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has opined saying Osimhen is looking to leave Napoli this summer and has several clubs that are interested in signing him claiming PSG are also one of the favourites to land him a deal as they search for a replacement for Kylian Mbappe.

Despite missing a large chunk of the 2023/24 season due to injuries and his involvement with Nigeria at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, the striker still boasts 14-goal involvement (11 goals and three assists) in 16 appearances in the Italian topflight league.

Osimhen’s Achievements since the 2022/23

Following the end of 2022/23 season as the top scorer in Italy’s top division, the Nigerian also became the first African to achieve the feat. He was also named the Italian Footballers’ Association Serie A Player of The Year for the 2022/23 season.

For the national team, Osimhen, after helping Nigeria qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast and finishing the qualification series as the top scorer with 10 goals, the Napoli man only managed to score a goal at the competition but his involvement in the team played a major role in their journey to the final of the competition, where they lost 2-1 to the hosts in the final.

In what has been an astonishing period of his career for the Lagos-born striker, Osimhen became the first Nigerian footballer in history to be named in the Top 10 of the Ballon d’Or with an eighth-place finish.

He also became the first Nigerian, since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999, to be named African Footballer of The Year, beating Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah to the award at the CAF awards ceremony in Marrakech last December.

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