Napoli forward Victor Osimhen is reportedly demanding the insertion of a nine-figure release clause into his contract as he continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League this summer. Osimhen is said to have emerged as a target for the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea after helping Napoli to win last season’s Serie A title with 26 goals in 32 matches.
Napoli are understandably determined to avoid selling Osimhen before the new campaign gets underway and it is believed that he could even sign a new contract with the Italian champions at some point over the coming weeks. Such a deal will hinge on whether Napoli are prepared to bow to the striker’s demands, though, given his preference for a release clause to be involved in any new agreement.
Osimhen has asked for a £103.8million clause to be inserted into a potential contract extension, according to Sky Italy, which would force United to break their existing transfer record in order to snap him up. Chelsea, meanwhile, spent more on the signing of Enzo Fernandez back in January and could be tempted to splash another eye-watering fee on Osimhen if the opportunity arises in the near future.
The Nigeria international has just two years remaining on his current deal and Napoli are reportedly keen on tying him down for longer, with the Italian champions eager to avoid selling him on the cheap at the end of next season. Talks have been progressing between the two parties in recent weeks, but an agreement is yet to be reached on the value of his release clause because Napoli want to set it at around £173m.
It comes after Osimhen admitted earlier this year that it would be his ‘dream’ to play in the Premier League at some stage before he eventually retires, telling Sky Sports in March: “I think playing in one of the top five leagues in the world is an amazing feeling for me.
“A lot of people worldwide consider the Premier League as the best and the strongest league, but now I’m in one of the best leagues in the world which is the Italian Serie A. I’m working so hard to make sure that I achieve my dream of playing in the Premier League some day, but like I said, it’s a process and I just want to keep on this momentum and continue to do well.”
It remains to be seen whether United or Chelsea will end up signing Osimhen before the summer window slams shut, although it seems clear that they will need to convince him of their trophy-winning capabilities in order to stand any chance of striking a deal. He recently insisted that he will only consider joining clubs in the hunt for regular silverware after gaining a taste for success off the back of his stellar campaign at Napoli.
“Whatever honour that comes after this, I will welcome it and I am really working hard to make sure, and now I am addicted to trophies because now the Scudetto is my first trophy as a pro,” he told Nigerian outlet Soccernet. “Now I’m addicted, and I can’t wait for the new season to come.”
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