Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

Arsenal initiate contact with £83m-rated striker, with Edu masterclass required to seal statement signing

Victor Osimhen Napoli March 2022

Arsenal are the frontrunners to sign Napoli hotshot Victor Osimhen this summer and have made the first move, though a journalist has revealed why a summer swoop won’t be easy.

Arsenal’s season has run aground in recent weeks. The Gunners had looked on course to finish inside the top four and secure the riches that would result from Champions League qualification.

However, three successive league defeats to mid-table teams have given them a mountain to climb. What’s more, the difficulty of their upcoming matches is poised to spike with Chelsea, Man Utd and West Ham next up.

The Gunners have scored just once in their last three and a lack of end product is threatening to derail their season completely.

Neither Alexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah have found the net with regularity this season. The pair are both free agents on June 30 and could take Arsenal’s striker exits over the last six months to three after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Barcelona in January.

As such, Arsenal have been linked with a whole host of strikers, including Napoli ace Victor Osimhen.

The Nigeria international is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most in-demand forwards. Links with a Premier League switch have swelled of late, with Newcastle, Man Utd and Arsenal all touted.

But according to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal are deemed to be ‘in the lead’ for his signature. A €100m (£83m) price tag is cited in the article that translated one of their prior reports.

Osimhen transfer an uphill struggle

Details beyond that basic statement are scarce, and TEAMtalk exclusively revealed last week why prising Osimhen out of Naples will be difficult.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis is prioritising keeping him in Naples above all else. To aid his cause, he is now prepared to be more financially strident in renewals for some of the club’s older players.

What’s more, Napoli-focused journalist Emanuele Cammaroto has now detailed why an Osimhen move is so difficult.

The journalist told Area Napoli of Arsenal’s interest when claiming contact has been made his Osimhen’s camp. However, Napoli’s desire to retain the striker was made clear, along with Osimhen’s ambition to play Champions League football at least once with the club.

Victor Osimhen staying at Napoli despite Premier League interest

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Napoli currently third in Serie A and are well on course to secure Champions League qualification.

“The big names of the Premier League are following him and are beginning to come forward,” said Cammaroto (via Sport Witness).

“But Napoli’s idea is to keep the Nigerian centre forward at least for another season unless there are significant proposals.

“At the moment, Arsenal has come forward and has sounded out the player’s entourage.

“Osimhen has registered the interest of the Gunners, and it seems that he has been flattered by the proposal. But he doesn’t consider Arsenal a first choice for his career.

“The former Lille bomber wants to play in the Champions League with Napoli, and then he will choose his future.”

Given both Napoli and Osimhen are seemingly pulling in the same direction, it would take a masterclass from Arsenal chief Edu to bring the striker to north London this summer.