Premier League • England

Chelsea receive Osimhen boost as PSG eye £26m Mbappe replacement

Chelsea target Victor Osimhen, Crystal Palace star Jean-Philippe Mateta

Osimhen and Mateta could both move clubs in the summer

Chelsea’s chances of signing Napoli striker Victor Osimhen have received a boost as Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly turned their attention elsewhere.

The Nigeria international has long been on the radar of Chelsea and PSG but after staying put at the Italian outfit for several seasons, it seems the 25-year-old will be moving onto pastures new this summer.

That was confirmed by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis in January, a month after the 6ft 1in forward – who has scored 76 goals in 132 games for the Italian outfit – signed a new deal with the Serie A club until 2026.

He said: “We already knew it since last summer. The negotiation for the renewal would not have been this long otherwise. We already knew he [Osimhen] would go to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain or the Premier League.”

Indeed, the former Lille man, who joined Napoli in 2020 for an initial £60m, said his mind was already made up over his next move at the start of the year.

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“The rumour is going around about me linked with the Premier League. Of course, when you’re one of the hottest strikers in the world you expect this type of thing, it’s one of the biggest and best leagues in the world,” he admitted.

“For me, I’m with Napoli, signed a new contract and enjoying my time there with the team, at the end of the season I’ve already made up my mind, I already know what I want to do in my career.

“Since I’ve started, I’ve been the one making my own decisions on everything and it’s working out well for me. I already know the next step I want to take so for now I just want to finish the season strong.”

Sources told TEAMtalk that if Chelsea want to sign the Napoli star, ‘He is there waiting but it is up to them’. One potentially sizeable stumbling block, however, is a possible transfer fee.

It is understood Osimhen’s contract includes a £113m release clause. At a time when the Blues may have to sell players before they can buy in order to comply with profit and sustainability rules, that price tag may dissuade them unless some wiggle room is allowed.

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PSG eye Osimhen alternative

However, it seems a bidding war may not happen as The Sun reports PSG are keeping tabs on Crystal Palace striker Jean-Philippe Mateta.

The 26-year-old, whose contract at Selhurst Park runs until 2026, has scored 16 goals and bagged four assists in all competitions this season – with the 6ft 4in forward netting 11 times in his last 15 Premier League matches.

With PSG set to lose talisman Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid at the end of the season, the Ligue 1 champions are in the market for a ‘top signing’ and Mateta would be regarded as a ‘coup’.

Reports suggest the former Mainz O5 man, who has scored 26 goals in 106 games for Palace, could be signed for as little as £25.7m – after initially signing for approximately £15m in January 2022.

While he is unlikely to be nearly as prolific as Mbappe was at PSG, with the French World Cup winner scoring 256 goals in 307 games, Mateta could be a worthwhile purchase for the Paris team.

Chelsea transfer boost

This comes at a time when Chelsea appear to be pushing ahead for Osimhen, but negotiations are not at an advanced stage. According to journalist Rudy Galetti, the Blues plan to include striker David Fofana or midfielder Cesare Casadei in a possible Osimhen deal.

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He told Area Napoli: “As for the transfer chapter, Chelsea want Victor Osimhen, who will leave Napoli at the end of the season, more and more.

“The Blues want to negotiate the terms of the release clause and it cannot be ruled out that the English club will try to include players such as Casadei or David Fofana in the negotiation to lower the price, although Napoli are not open to negotiating the price and are only asking for cash.

“With Victor a personal agreement is not so far away and the parties will continue talking in the coming weeks.”

It seems Osimhen, who has scored 15 goals and bagged three assists in Serie A this season, will be one of the big transfer sagas this summer.