STALLED CONTRACT TALKS
Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report
With Victor Osimhen’s contract renewal talks with Napoli now stalled due to disagreements over wages, it is now obvious the Super Eagles forward is likely to take his trade elsewhere in Europe next summer.
Osimhen’s current contract with Napoli is not due to expire until June 2025.
However, feelers from Naples indicate that negotiations between Osimhen’s management team and Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has stalled as both sides are holding on to their positions.
According to Italian news outlet, Calcio Mercato, negotiations over a new deal at Napoli have stalled.
The report states that a ‘great frost has fallen’ between Osimhen and De Laurentiis, with the two parties far apart on wages.
Osimhen, 24, is said to want his yearly wages to be doubled from €4.5million (£3.9m) to €9m (£7.8m).
There is also disagreement over the inclusion of a release clause, with De Laurentiis wanting to set it at €200m (£174m) while Osimhen would prefer a more ‘easy and cheap’ fee.
It is this development at Naples that has heightened moves in Liverpool and Chelsea to lure the Nigerian star to England.
This must have explained why the Reds sent scouts to Portugal to keep tab on Osimhen as Nigeria played two friendlies with Saudi Arabia and Mozambique in Portimao during the FIFA window.
Unfortunately, Osimhen had to return to Italy after the Saudi Arabia game when he hurt his leg in the Nigerian friendly with Saudi Arabia.
UK’s Mirroralso reported at the weekend that the Reds have ‘moved decisively’ and made ‘several direct contacts’, while Chelsea first showed interest in the Nigerian international last summer.
Although the rift between Osimhen and Napoli over the TikTok post appears to have been put aside, most especially with the sacking of the staff that was at the centre of the mocking video, it is believed to still be partly responsible for why the Nigerian wants away.
De Laurentiis recently spoke out about the ongoing negotiations with Osimhen, admitting he may sell the striker if he does not sign a new deal.
“I have never not been calm when it comes to Osimhen, but it takes two to tango,” he said. “I remain the same, if his mood has changed, then there’s not much I can do about that. If after a handshake things change, that is disappointing, we take it into account, but life goes on.
However, Napoli’s Sporting Director, Mauro Meluso, hinted that the club will not sell any of their best players in the January transfer window, meaning Liverpool and Chelsea may have to wait until the end of the season to try and sign Osimhen.
“Absolutely not, the squad is very large and leaves us calm,” Meluso told SportMediaset, as per Football Italia, when asked about the prospect of players leaving in January. “Everything can be improved, these are discussions we will have later. We will certainly get together to understand how and whether to intervene,” Mirror reported yesterday.
After a sluggish start to his stay in Italy from Lille of France, Osimhen regained his scoring magic, leading Napoli to their first Serie A title since 1990 last season with 26 league goals in 32 appearances. He remains a cult-hero to Napoli fans.