• Monday, June 17, 2024
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BusinessDay

Chelsea withdraw from Osimhen race

OsimhenNapoli (2)

Chelsea have reportedly withdrawn their interest in signing Napoli striker Victor Osimhen during the summer transfer window.

Napoli previously confirmed that the Nigerian forward would leave the club at the end of the season, with Chelsea among the suitors for his signature.

However, Osimhen is now reportedly eyeing a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal emerging as his preferred destination.

Osimhen has been a standout player for Napoli, scoring 17 goals in 31 appearances this season, following a prolific 31-goal haul the previous year.

His impressive performances earned him a spot in the 2023/24 Serie A Team of the Season and have attracted interest from several top clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, and Bayern Munich.

The latest development casts doubt on Chelsea’s pursuit of the former LOSC Lille striker, primarily due to the difficulty of activating Osimhen’s release clause.

Football transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirmed Chelsea’s decision to pull out of the race for Osimhen and their refusal of a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku. Romano wrote on his X account:

“Chelsea and Napoli are not working on a swap deal between Victor Osimhen and Romelu Lukaku. #CFC insist on a £38m release clause for any club keen on signing Romelu Lukaku this summer.”

Osimhen, 25, has a £113m release clause, and Napoli hopes interested parties will meet this criterion. Chelsea may reconsider their position after balancing their books to comply with Premier League profit and sustainability rules.

Napoli are interested in Lukaku, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Inter Milan and Roma, although no discussions regarding a potential swap with Osimhen have been held.

Chelsea are reportedly willing to accept around £38m for Lukaku, who still has two years remaining on his contract.

With 15 goals and three assists in 24 Serie A appearances this season, the Nigeria international is expected to leave Napoli at the end of the season.