Exclusive: Man Utd, Chelsea leading chase for brilliant Serie A man but must pay ‘massive fee’; deal to affect City, Newcastle target
Transfer insider Ben Jacobs has provided TEAMtalk with the latest information on Napoli stars Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, with the pair picking up interest from two Premier League teams each.
Osimhen has been in devastating form this season, notching 21 goals in 26 matches so far. That includes goals in eight consecutive Serie A games between January 8 and February 25.
The striker is linking up incredibly well with winger Kvaratskhelia. The Georgian has affectionately been labelled ‘Kvaradona’ by the Napoli faithful thanks to his exceptional dribbling and keen eye for goal.
Kvaratskhelia’s record stands at 12 goals and 15 assists from 27 appearances.
Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia are helping Napoli to enjoy a top season. They have a 15-point lead at the top of the Serie A table with a game in hand on second-placed Inter Milan. Luciano Spalletti’s side appear set to win the club’s first league title since 1989-90.
Napoli are also hoping to go far in the Champions League. They managed to finish top of Group A ahead of Liverpool and Ajax. They have a two-goal lead over Eintracht Frankfurt after the first leg of their round of 16 tie.
READ MORE: Man Utd learn conditions that’ll seal transfer of Spanish ace who’d benefit more by choosing Tottenham
Napoli chiefs will be delighted with how the team is performing, and especially influential duo Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia. The only trouble for them is that clubs will be lining up to sign the pair in the summer.
Jacobs has confirmed to TEAMtalk than Manchester United are one of the main clubs interested in Osimhen. Chelsea are also pursuing him, though either team will have to part with big money to agree a deal with Napoli.
Man Utd, Chelsea-linked star wants Prem move
“Victor Osimhen wants to play in the Premier League. He’s said that is his dream, but he’s in no rush to leave Napoli,” Jacobs said. “Napoli are tough negotiators, that’s for sure.
“There’ll be interest in Osimhen. It’s going to take a massive fee, something at least in the region of £85-90m plus and some believe even more. Napoli are flying and if Napoli hadn’t had the season that they’re having it might be a different story. But Osimhen is really only focused at the moment on trying to do something incredible in the Champions League with Napoli and in Serie A.
“I think that Manchester United and Chelsea are two Premier League clubs very much tracking Osimhen. They’re aware that it’s not going to be easy to get a deal done at value with Napoli. But no doubt they will play into the fact that Osimhen does dream of moving to the Premier League. I don’t think it’s absolutely guaranteed that he will move in the summer compared to 2024.
“Because even if the player had his interest piqued by a concrete offer, you’ve got to agree a fee with Napoli who are one of the toughest negotiators in all of European football.
“But it clearly helps the suitors that Osimhen is thinking about the Premier League and has now said that on record. So there will be something concrete for Osimhen come the summer for sure.
“Premier League clubs will be able to significantly better his Napoli wage without breaking the bank. So it becomes about can a relatively loyal player to Napoli be persuaded to go sooner rather than later. But I think Chelsea and Manchester United are still two to watch on this front.”
Osimhen move to impact Kvaratskhelia future
Jacobs then explained how Osimhen’s situation will influence whether his team-mate Kvaratskhelia stays at Napoli or achieves a transfer.
“With Kvaratskhelia, it’s a little bit harder in many ways because he’s newer to Napoli,” Jacobs added. “And the funny thing is that the fee of around £8.5m that Napoli paid for him was deemed to be relatively high. Look at him now with goals and assists for fun.
“He’s highly intelligent and that’s why he’s drawing interest including from the likes of Manchester City and Newcastle United.
“The first thing we should say is that Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen should be looked at as a double entity in the sense that Napoli are not letting both go for sure. There’s no way that they would sell both in a summer window, given the season that they’re having.
“So I think it will be one or the other, Osimhen or Kvaratskhelia. And then you have to understand that these are two players that love playing together and realize that they’re both bringing the best football out of each other. So there could also be a chance, because they’re settled, that both players say ‘we want to do another season together’.
“Kvaratskhelia, there’s lots looking but I think Manchester City and Newcastle within the Premier League are ones to watch.”
Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has discussed Man Utd signing a big-name Barcelona player at the end of the season.