One of the major transfer stories that could burst into life this coming summer is the future of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been enjoying a wonderful campaign that has seen him score 25 times already across Serie A and the Champions League.
With Serie A continuing to pale financially compared to the Premier League and some other major clubs across Europe, he is naturally being touted as the next major export out of the Italian top flight.
Il Mattino recently reported that Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis will not even sit down at the negotiating table if it is for less than €150 million. It is well known that when it comes to Napoli, they will sell their best players, but only for the right price. Nothing has come out of the player’s camp to suggest that Osimhen plans to force a move or sees his immediate future elsewhere, but a move is certainly very possible.
Napoli will try to offer him a new contract and he certainly could end up extending with the Partenopei, but they will not be able to offer the sort of wages that other teams on this list can.
Where could Osimhen actually go, though?
Probably the most heavily linked team at the moment is Premier League side Manchester United. The Red Devils are obviously in need of a striker this summer as they have got Wout Weghorst on a six-month loan that will come to an end this summer. Marcus Rashford is prolific but clearly better on the left, and Anthony Martial simply can’t stay fit.
The club would be able to produce the money, although the ownership situation could hinder summer investment. There is a clear space for the Nigerian in the team, they have shown interest, and they would be able to give him a serious pay increase that would reflect his status as one of the best strikers in the world.
Whilst Manchester United have got a space ready and waiting for Osimhen, Paris Saint-Germain are expected to enter this race more seriously if either Kylian Mbappe decides to leave the club for a better shot at the Champions League, or if a new deal cannot be agreed for Lionel Messi.
The departure of Neymar Jr cannot actually be ruled out either, so they are certainly a player in the game. The Parisian side can outbid anyone in world football when it comes to both transfer fee and wages, so it would certainly be an attractive proposition for Osimhen unless he really wants a crack at the Premier League.
Slightly more of an outside bet in the sense that it is not always Bayern Munich‘s style to drop in excess of €150 million on a player. Their record transfer saw Lucas Hernandez arrive from Atletico Madrid back in 2019/20.
That being said, the transition away from Robert Lewandowski has not been completely smooth and their stuttering Bundesliga campaign, albeit whilst still being top of the table for much of it, has cost Julian Nagelsmann his job.
They may decide to abandon the more fluid attack that Nagelsmann was attempting to put in place and sign a more conventional centre-forward in Osimhen. Much like PSG, though, he could decide that it is not competitive enough a league for his liking, especially if Bayern do win the title again this season which would be their eleventh in a row.
It is no secret that the player Florentino Perez really wants to add to his team is Kylian Mbappe, and that is a move that cannot be ruled out.
Were the Frenchman to sign an extension with PSG, don’t rule out Real Madrid going all-in on Osimhen. He could be the successor to Karim Benzema for Los Blancos although that changeover may not be necessary this summer.
With players like Jude Bellingham and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia also on their radar, it could be that they choose to strengthen a different area of the squad instead.
A ridiculous inclusion just one year ago, but Newcastle United are beginning to tick the boxes for a player like Osimhen.
A key factor here is that Eddie Howe‘s Saudi-backed team needs to qualify for the Champions League. If they do not, Osimhen almost certainly won’t look twice at the Magpies. That qualification is far from in the bag, but they have been in the top four of the Premier League for much of the campaign.
They have expressed serious interest in Osimhen and with their newfound riches, they can certainly afford both the big transfer fee and the presumably high wage demands. It could be appealing for Osimhen to be the star man in an up-and-coming team, although it would mean Newcastle are already stepping away from Alexander Isak who they signed for €70 million in the summer of 2022.