Premier League • England

Exclusive: Victor Osimhen to Chelsea not dead but Todd Boehly must clear hurdles to sign priority target

Chelsea have not given up on their pursuit of Victor Osimhen

Chelsea have not given up on their pursuit of Victor Osimhen

Chelsea’s interest in signing Victor Osimhen remains firm and TEAMtalk can reveal Todd Boehly is intent on capturing the Napoli striker if they can force through some player sales and generate the necessary funds to keep them within FFP limits.

The Blues have issued a blanket statement regarding sales of players which has made it clear that any realistic offers for any player could be accepted in the next window.

That status has put several clubs on high alert with a number of deals seemingly being worked on to ensure that Chelsea raise some transfer funds and lower their wage bill as well.

To that end, TEAMtalk has confirmed on Friday that a deal to sell Omari Hutchison to Ipswich will be considered with the Tractor Boys having made clear their wish to land the loan winger on a permanent basis.

With the Blues now firmly fixing their gaze on Osimhen, the focus at Stamford Bridge will now turn into exactly how they can raise the captial for his signature and with Napoli – who had initially set their asking price for Osimhen at incredible €170m (£145m) – sticking to the €120m (£102m) clause that was placed into the player’s deal earlier this season.

Napoli have communicated that asking price to Chelsea and Osimhen has also indicated to the club that he would be amenable to a move with the ball now in the buyer’s court.

Osimhen fits the bill for a priority target for Chelsea as a player who has the star qualities to allow the club to push for the Champions League places and a title run down the line.

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Victor Osimhen to trigger Chelsea fire sale

As a result, and despite reports to the contrary, TEAMtalk can confirm that Chelsea’s pursuit of Osimhen is very much still alive, though the price tag attached to the Napoli star means that the Blues cannot risk submitting a bid before they have offloaded players first.

At the top of the transfer list for Chelsea has to be Raheem Sterling with Boehly and company on the hook for a £67.5m bill if the winger sees out the four years remaining on his contract.

A move for Sterling by any clubs would involve convincing the England international to take a pay cut with no club that is run responsibly willing to maintain his incredible £325,000-per-week wages.

Chelsea might have painted themselves into a corner by offering players longer than normal contracts. The club has 13 players contracted to deals with seven of more years left to run. Chelsea will end up paying this current group of players more than £850m if all of these deals are honoured in their current form.

Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are the confirmed departures from the current Chelsea squad but we can expect to see several more names added to that list before Chelsea can resume their pursuit of the Nigerian star.

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