Fabrizio Romano has rated the chances of Arsenal signing Victor Osimhen in the January transfer window amid ongoing speculation the Gunners are planning an approach and with Napoli having reportedly named their price.
Mikel Arteta’s side are back on top of the Premier League with dreams of ending their 20-year wait to win the title once again on the agenda. Having narrowly missed out on glory last season, the Arsenal boss knows his side will need to be at their absolute consistent best if they are to wrestle the crown from Manchester City’s grasp.
To aid their chances, a number of observers have recommended Arsenal go big in their quest to sign a new No 9 in the January window. Perceived by many as their biggest weakness, Arsenal do tend to lack that 25-goal-a-season man that many of their rivals lack.
As it stands, Arsenal are reliant on Eddie Nketiah (five goals from 18 appearances) and Gabriel Jesus (four goals from 12 appearances) so far this season. Neither player are considered prolific, with that lack of a potent striking force underlined by the fact Erling Haaland already has 18 goals in 19 appearances this season.
As a result, the Gunners have been strongly linked with a move for a new striker in January; a hunt which, for so long, has appeared to focus very much on Brentford’s Ivan Toney.
However, we exclusively revealed on Monday that Arsenal are also engineering their way into the Osimhen race, with the Gunners seemingly having the funds available to meeting his mammoth transfer fee.
To that end, Arteta is convinced that Osimhen – who has 65 goals in 112 appearances for Napoli – can do for Arsenal what Haaland brings to City.
Romano on Arsenal chances of January deal for Victor Osimhen
With Osimhen’s agent also reportedly having met with Arsenal officials last summer to discuss a possible future move, hopes are growing that Arsenal could yet pull off one of the most significant signings in their history.
However, trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has had his say on the matter and has played down the Gunners’ prospects of signing Osimhen in the winter window.
But he admits a summer deal may well be on the cards after revealing to Caught Offside that Napoli may be forced to sell the 27-times capped Nigeria international.
“I’m aware there have been some reports linking Arsenal with Victor Osimhen, and this follows some outlets claiming the Napoli striker’s agent held talks with the Gunners around a year ago,” Romano began.
“We know that Arsenal and Chelsea are both keeping an eye on strikers for 2024, so it’s normal to see these links. But it’s important to reiterate that it’s very difficult to consider those links for January because Napoli insist they don’t want to sell him in the middle of the season.
“For the summer, anything can happen but it isn’t being decided now for sure.”
Napoli demanding huge fee for striker
Any fee for Osimhen is likely to go through for an enormous fee, despite the fact his current deal is due to expire in summer 2025.
To that end, Il Mattino reports that Napoli have told interested suitors they would be seeking a fee of €150m (£130m) for the 24-year-old.
With 30-year-old Harry Kane moving to Bayern Munich over the summer for a fee that will ultimately top €110m (£95.5m), Napoli believe they are well within their right to seek a fee that would shatter both Arsenal’s transfer record and also their record fee received, currently the €90m that Juventus paid them for Gonzalo Higuain in July 2016.
The Gunners, however, are unlikely to be sole suitors for Osimhen, with Chelsea also determined to bring the striker to Stamford Bridge and feeling they have something of an edge given the player’s admiration for the Blues as a youngster.
PSG cannot be discounted either, especially given the Ligue 1 giants will likely be seeking a big-name star to replace the place in their side likely to be vacated by Kylian Mbappe in the summer.