Osimhen’s €12M Annual Salary Hampers Dream Move to Premier League

Victor Osimhen’s dream of joining the English Premier League this summer is in jeopardy due to his substantial €12 million net annual salary at Napoli. Over the past two years, the 25-year-old Nigerian striker has been linked with top EPL clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Chelsea. However, these clubs have now shied away from pursuing him because of his hefty wage demands.

Despite extending his contract with Napoli last December, Osimhen has expressed his desire to leave Diego Maradona Stadium at the end of the season. Napoli, too, are open to his departure, provided a club meets the €130 million release clause embedded in his new contract.

Initially, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) seemed a potential destination for Osimhen, especially as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Kylian Mbappe. However, PSG quickly withdrew from the pursuit, ostensibly due to the high salary Osimhen commands.

Recently, Osimhen was reportedly close to joining Chelsea, his preferred club due to his admiration for Didier Drogba, the Ivorian legend who scored 226 goals in 100 appearances for the club between 2004 and 2012. Chelsea and Napoli initially agreed to a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku plus €80 million. However, the deal fell through when Chelsea’s board, led by Tom Todd Boehly, balked at Osimhen’s salary demands.

With Chelsea out of the picture and interest from Manchester United and Newcastle cooling off, Arsenal remains the only potential Premier League suitor. Reports in Italy over the weekend suggested a possible swap deal that would see Osimhen move to the Emirates Stadium, with Emile Smith Rowe going to Napoli. However, Arsenal has also started to reconsider and are in talks with RB Leipzig for Benjamin Sesko, a 21-year-old striker with a €65 million release clause valid until the end of June.

If none of the Premier League clubs rekindle their interest, Osimhen may end up in the Saudi Pro League. Earlier this year, he turned down a lucrative €140 million offer from Al-Hilal, prioritizing a move that would benefit his career.

For Napoli, Osimhen is already a part of their history, and they are actively searching for a suitable replacement. Potential candidates include Joshua Zirkzee, Jonathan David, Bayer Leverkusen’s Nigerian striker Victor Boniface, Feyenoord’s Santiago Gimenez, Crystal Palace’s Jean-Philippe Mateta, OGC Nice, and Nigerian striker Terem Moffi.

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