Premier League • England

Arteta in dreamland as Arsenal open talks on transformative transfer that will send rivals into meltdown

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are looking to add Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to their ranks this summer

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are looking to add Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to their ranks this summer

The transfer door has dramatically swung open for Arsenal to sign Victor Osimhem this summer after tentative talks over a mega-money deal opened – though the Gunners will need Napoli to lower their initial valution if the deal is to happen.

The north London side have made serious strides in the last two seasons with Arteta and Edu’s innovative approach to the transfer market paying rich dividends for the Gunners. And with Arsenal having finished second in the last two Premier League title races – taking the most recent race down to the final day – plans are now in place at how they can go one step better next season.

To that end, TEAMtalk understands that Arsenal want to make three big-name signings this summer, with a left-sided defender, a midfield partner for Declan Rice and a new prolific No 9 all on their wishlist. Arsenal will also look to sign a new goalkeeper to compete with David Raya, and with Aaron Ramsdale likely to get his wish to leave the club this summer.

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To kick off their summer business, TEAMtalk understands that Arsenal will formally announce the signing of Raya in a permanent £27m deal from Brentford when the summer transfer window officially opens for business.

They are also making moves for a new back-up keeper too, with reports from Spain outlining a cunning plan to snare talented Real Madrid keeper Andriy Lunin, with the Ukrainian having been left disasppointed by Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to axe him for the Champions League final at Wembley earlier this month.

However, the biggest move of all is now starting to potentially gain some traction, with Italian media reporting that talks have opened over a sensational move for Osimhen.

Arsenal transfer news: Talks open over mega-money Osimhen deal

The Napoli frontman is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world game, having blasted his way to an impressive 76 goals in 133 games for the Serie A side since a €70m move from Lille in summer 2020.

That tally includes a stellar 31 in 39 games the season before last as Napoli ended a 33-year wait to be crowned champions of Italy.

Regularly linked with moves to some of the world’s biggest clubs, Napoli handed Osimhen a new deal in the autumn to extend his stay at the Diego Maradona Stadium through until summer 2026 and extending his buyout clause to a whopping €120m to €130m – depending on when a suitor tries to activate it.

Napoli, understandly, do not want to lose their talismanic star, and have persistently referred his suitors to that exit clause if they are to pursue a deal.

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However, they also would benefit hugely from a major sale and reports in the Italian press state they could be open to his sale this summer if close to his asking price was met.

To that end, multiple reports in Italy now state representatives of the Nigeria international ‘have spoken to Arsenal’ to discuss a prospective move to north London.

Gunners signing would send warning to the Premier League as price tag emerges

And while it’s claimed Arsenal have indicated a desire to bring in the 25-year-old, they would require Napoli to accept a fee nearer the €100m (£84.3m) mark if a deal is to be done.

That represents a drop of around £25.3m from the required €130m (£109.6m) required to sign him now – a figure that remains to be seen if Napoli will accept.

But if Osimhen is to secure his dream move to the Premier League  – and the striker has made clear his wishes to play in England previously – then it is Arsenal who now present the most realistic option to him.

Such a signing would though send shockwaves around the Premier League and undoubtedly underline Arsenal’s prospects of becoming the side who finally dethrone Manchester City’s four-year reign as champions.

Osimhen currently earns a package worth €1.5m a month (around £300,000 a week) and he would at least be seeking parity on that arrangement if he is to make the move.

But Napoli’s meek defence of their title saw the club finish way down in 10th place, leaving them without European football and leaving prospective new boss Antonio Conte with a rather large rebuild in place this summer.