Napoli centre-forward Victor Osimhen has been heavily linked with a summer transfer to Arsenal. The clinical frontman has enjoyed an extremely fruitful season with the Serie A giants, notching 16 goals across all competitions this term.
And the Gunners are in dire need of goals after allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join Barcelona back in January whilst both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are into the final three months of their respective contracts in north London, leaving Mikel Arteta with Folarin Balogun as his only recognised centre-forward.
With that in mind, football.london has taken a look at all the latest news relating to a potential transfer for Osimhen ahead of the summer window.
Osimhen ‘chooses’ Arsenal over Man Utd
This is believed to be due to the 23-year-old’s long standing desire to play in the Champions League next season for whichever club makes a move for him.
This would also rule out Newcastle United who are believed to hold an interest in the Nigerian – Napoli are said to be preparing for his exit as they get ready for a Champions League campaign of their own next season.
The latest report states that his asking price could be lower than originally stated at around £80 million, which would still be an enormous outlay given the other names on the Gunners’ shortlist.
According to Italian newspaper Il Corriere dello Sport, via Football Italia, the agent of the Napoli striker has recently met with the club’s owner Aurelio De Laurentiis and sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli to discuss the Nigeria international’s potential move to Arsenal or Manchester United.
Champions League wish
Arsenal have won their last three Premier League outings, West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester United. Those results leave them two points above Spurs.
And securing a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League may be vital in the race to sign Osimhen, if La Gazzetta dello Sport, via GIFN are to be believed. The Italian outlet’s recent report has claimed that the 23-year-old is eyeing a move to the Premier League this summer.
The report also says that Osimhen would be keen to play for Arsenal next term but only if they can secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal ‘leading race’
Italian outlet Gazzetta Dello Sport have reported that the Gunners have ‘set their sights’ on the Nigerian frontman, whilst technical director Edu and Co are said to be leading the pack at this moment in time.
A host of Premier League clubs are reportedly interested in the 23-year-old, with Manchester United, Newcastle United and Chelsea all previously linked with a summer move.
Man United twist
Corriere dello Sport journalist Antonio Giordano has reported that the player would turn down a move to Arsenal if Manchester United came knocking. Speaking about Osimhen, via TEAMtalk, Giordano said: “Arsenal never stopped following him and, surprisingly, Manchester United. In the personal imagination of a 23-year-old player, United are a temptation and if the Red Devils reach certain figures, history teaches us those certain operations must be done.”
Napoli duo eyed
As per Caughtoffside, Osimhen isn’t the only Napoli man on Arsenal’s radar as the north London outfit have also been strongly linked with the Nigerian’s club teammate, Fabian Ruiz. According to transfermarkt, the midfielder is valued at £49.5million, meaning a swoop for both the Spaniard and Osimhen will be costly.
£84m price revealed
NapoliGazzetta dello Sport, via Sport Witness, has claimed that Arsenal are interested in Napoli centre-forward Victor Osimhen. However, a move will not happen unless the Gunners can cough up around €100million (£84million) for the Nigerian international. It’ll ultimately be interesting to see whether Arsenal pursue the forward at the figure quoted, or whether they believe there’s a better and cheaper alternative out there.
As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia, Newcastle United attempt to sign Osimhen at the end of the season. As well as the Magpies, the Gunners face competition from a number of interested parties, including Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
Napoli are in no rush to sell their star, given that his €4m-a-year deal at the Stadio Maradona runs out in 2025. Nevertheless, as aforementioned, President Aurelio De Laurentiis would consider offers in the region of €100million.
Honest Arsenal admission
The 23-year-old has previously admitted that he came close to joining Arsenal during Arsene Wenger’s trophy-laden time in north London. Speaking to the Independent back in 2020, Osimhen said: “I spoke with Arsene Wenger after the tournament (Under-17 World Cup) ended and he wanted me to come to Arsenal.
“I had a lot of options. Barcelona; Inter Milan; Atletico Madrid; Juventus and the rest. Arsenal was a good option but it wasn’t the best at the time. I wanted to start playing as soon as I turned 18.”
Read more here.