Arsenal have had a €90million offer rejected for Victor Osimhen and a failure to qualify for the Champions League could prompt them to stop there, a report claims.
One of the key positions Arsenal are looking to strengthen in the summer is the centre-forward role. They look likely to be losing Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as free agents. It will leave them with a severe shortage up front.
Arsenal are therefore in the market for a high-pedigree striker to lead them into a new era. They have been linked with a number of potential options.
One player who appears to be on their radar is Napoli hitman Osimhen. The Nigeria international has scored 28 goals in 61 appearances for his current club, including 18 from 31 this season.
Still only 23 years old, Osimhen could be one of the leading strikers in European football for years to come. As such, many clubs are keeping track of his progress.
He has been tipped as a target for Manchester United, for example. This is verified by Calciomercato.it, although they reveal that it is actually Arsenal to have made the first move.
According to the Italian source, Arsenal have submitted an offer worth €90m (£76.1m) for the striker’s services. If accepted, it would make Osimhen their most expensive signing of all time, surpassing £72m man Nicolas Pepe.
However, Napoli are not willing to agree to those terms. Instead, they are holding out for at least €110m (nearly £93m).
Victor Osimhen staying at Napoli despite Premier League interest
Victor Osimhen unlikely to leave Napoli this summer as Manchester United and Arsenal look for new striker
They have the former Lille man – whom they signed for £67.5m in 2020 – under contract for another three years. Having qualified for next season’s Champions League, they want to keep him for at least one more season.
Injury issues have disrupted him sometimes, but head coach Luciano Spalletti feels he is capable of even more if he stays fit for the 2022-23 campaign. Therefore, he wants Napoli to get the best out of him.
In turn, Arsenal are likely to miss out. What’s more, their own potential failure to qualify for the Champions League could scupper their hopes of being able to afford the higher asking price.
Arsenal need results to go their way on the final day to stand any chance of overtaking Tottenham into fourth place. If not, they will be in the Europa League instead.
Osimhen scored four goals in five games of that competition this season. But he now has a bigger stage set for him, whereas Arsenal are unlikely to be able to provide that platform now.
Osimhen would have been good Arsenal choice, but not at that price
Of the strikers Arsenal have been linked with, Osimhen seemed like one of the better options.
He has qualities that would work well in the Premier League, despite never playing in English football before.
And he has a high ceiling at his age, so he would be a worthwhile investment for any elite side.
However, Arsenal have a few areas to invest in if they want to get back into the top four next season. Therefore, they will have to be smarter with how they spend their money.
It would not necessarily be worth breaking the €100m barrier for Osimhen if it denied them the chance to strengthen elsewhere too.
Although he would have been a wise signing, there may be better value-for-money options out there.