Premier League • England

Arsenal aim to use new info as leverage as they make contact with £100m man

Victor Osimhen Napoli April 2022

Arsenal have upped the ante in their hunt for a striker this summer by contacting the representatives of Victor Osimhen, according to one reporter.

Mikel Arteta allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave in January. And now both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are out of contract in June. Nketiah looks likely to leave on a free transfer, while contract talks at the end of the season with Lacazette could see the 30-year-old stay on.

But regardless of that, Arteta and Edu are hunting for a new No 9 and Osimhen is on their radar.

Earlier this month Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, deemed Arsenal to be “in the lead” for the Napoli marksman.

Now journalist Freddie Paxton claims Arsenal have made contact with Osimhen’s entourage and sounded him out for a summer transfer.

The major stumbling block though is the price tag on the Nigeria international.

His value in Naples is in excess of £100m and Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis will demand every penny of that valuation.

Paxton states that Osimhen is “more interested” in Arsenal than a move to Newcastle.

The Geordies were rumoured to be interested in January before the purchase of Chris Wood, while Man Utd have also been linked.

But the money that Napoli have in mind could well rule plenty of suitors, including Arsenal out of the running. Sources have already told TEAMtalk that any transfer would prove “difficult” even at nine figures.

The striker’s agent Roberto Calenda has scoffed at transfer talk previously and stated how Napoli is a great place for the striker to develop.

Osimhen ‘wants to play in England’

So much could come down to Osimhen’s desire to move on and break the contract he has until 2025.

The former Wolsburg striker has 16 goals in 28 games this season and an impressive 10 in 18 for Nigeria.

But all the previous noise coming from Naples has suggested that the Lagos-born frontman is in no particular rush to move on.

The news that the player “wants to play in England” will be angle for the Gunners to try and exploit. That may well be the leverage they can use to try and knock down the price tag on the player.

Osimhen was signed by Napoli for around £60m from Ligue 1 outfit Lille in 2020. That hefty price tag raised eyebrows, but is increasingly looking like a shrewd piece of business by Laurentiis.

And it’s hard to see Napoli letting him go for much less than the £100m that has been mentioned.