• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo


PSG eye Osimhen as Mbappe replacement


Kylian Mbappe is believed to have made his decision to leave Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the end of the 2023/24 season and the Ligue 1 champions placed Nigeria international and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen as a leading candidate to replace Mbappe.

Mbappe’s contract expires in June 2024 and he is set to leave the Parc des Princes as a free agent at the end of the current season.

Osimhen, 24, has emerged as a perfect replacement for Mbappe and PSG is considering a transfer approach this summer.

Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille in 2020 and has scored 67 goals in 119 appearances for the Italian club.

The Nigerian was instrumental in Napoli’s first Serie A title in 33 years last season, netting 26 times in 32 league appearances.

According to TNT Sports expert Julien Laurens, Osimhen and other stars are being lined up to replace Mbappe.

Osimhen, Rafael Leao and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are three of the players on Paris Saint-Germain’s shortlist to replace the departing Kylian Mbappe, says TNT Sports expert Julien Laurens.

Laurens confirmed on Wednesday night that this is Mbappe’s “last season in Paris”, as reported earlier this month, with Real Madrid heading the queue of suitors.

But now for PSG, the focus is on activating “plan B”, which involves bringing in a “marquee replacement”.

Laurens, speaking at the Parc des Princes for PSG’s UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Real Sociedad, told TNT Sports: “This is Mbappe] last season in Paris.

“He has decided now to leave the club at the end of the season as a free agent. The likely destination is Real Madrid. They’ve been chasing him for all those years; for so long, and finally, it will happen this summer.”

Laurens added: “[Paris] will try to get a marquee signing to replace him, of course. They expected a decision anyway, so there was a plan A if he stayed, and a plan B if he left.

“Plan B will be activated now, and on that, there is a shortlist with players like Osimhen from Napoli, Rafael Leao from Milan too. There are a few players there – Kvaratskhelia as well.

“Maybe not of the standard of Kylian Mbappe right now, but certainly with great potential.”

Laurens explained that Real Madrid had nearly secured Mbappe’s signature two years ago, but he decided to stay with PSG in an attempt to win the UEFA Champions League.

“Seven years breaking a lot of records, scored a lot of goals, had a lot of success – not so much in the Champions League – but this could be the year,” Laurens said.