Premier League • England

Victor Osimhen to Chelsea latest: Surprise striker swap on table as Pochettino aims to seal the deal

A close-up shot of Victor Osimhen with a prominent Chelsea badge alongside him

Can Chelsea beat PSG to the signing of Napoli star Victor Osimhen?

Chelsea could send Romelu Lukaku to Napoli as part of a player-plus-cash swap deal to land top summer target Victor Osimhen, it has been claimed.

Osimhen has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea over recent months, having registered 76 goals in 131 appearances since joining Napoli in the summer of 2020.

The Nigerian forward fired Napoli to the Serie A title last season with 26 goals in 32 games and has continued in a similar vein this season, with 17 goals in 31 appearances across all competitions.

READ MORE: Stunning XI Chelsea could field next season if Pochettino gets his way and classy quartet all sign

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed last month that reports that Osimhen has agreed terms with Paris Saint-Germain – on the lookout for a replacement for Kylian Mbappe, who announced on Friday that he will leave the club in the summer ahead of his proposed move to Real Madrid – are wide of the mark.

Chelsea are understood to hold the advantage over PSG in negotiations, with Osimhen believed to be keen on following in the footsteps of his boyhood idol Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge.

TEAMtalk previously reported in January that Chelsea have called upon Drogba – along with former midfielder John Obi Mikel – to help persuade Osimhen to join the club.

Chelsea to swap Romelu Lukaku for Victor Osimhen?

Osimhen’s Napoli contract is believed to contain a release clause in the region of £113million, but it has emerged that Chelsea could attempt to sweeten the deal by allowing Lukaku to head in the opposite direction.

A report by Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed that Chelsea could offer Lukaku in addition to a cash proposal in the region of €80-90m in an attempt to seal the deal for Osimhen.

Lukaku returned to Chelsea in the summer of 2021, but was shipped out on loan to his previous club Inter Milan last season after a disappointing second spell at Stamford Bridge under Thomas Tuchel.

The Belgian forward officially remains on Chelsea’s books and has spent this season on loan at Roma, where has has scored 20 goals in 45 games across all competitions.

READ MORE: The ridiculous XI of players Chelsea sold before they hit their prime: Salah, De Bruyne, Ampadu…

With the 30-year-old unlikely to be part of Chelsea’s plans going forward, Lukaku could be used in a makeweight in the club’s attempt to sign Osimhen.

However, it is said that Lukaku’s involvement in the deal is likely to hinge on Napoli’s ability to qualify for European competition next season.

With 36 games played, Napoli currently hold the Europa Conference League play-off position in eighth place – five points behind seventh-placed Lazio and one ahead of Fiorentina, who have two games in hand.

Napoli’s disappointing campaign has made owner Aurelio De Laurentiis determined to remould the squad over the summer, with European qualification central to the club’s hopes – as well as their bargaining position when it comes to the future of Osimhen.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that even holding on to their Europa Conference League qualification spot would significantly enhance the club’s hopes of persuading Lukaku to join.

The report adds that the Osimhen situation is unlikely to be resolved until Napoli know where they stand – and what they can offer – at the end of the season.

DON’T MISS: The key contract details of every Chelsea first-team player: Expiry dates, weekly wages, agents…