Napoli make ‘concrete’ plan to snatch Arsenal star as Chelsea hopes grow over £120m deal for desired ‘club treasure’

Napoli want Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus as a replacement for Victor Osimhen

Napoli want Gabriel Jesus as a replacement for Victor Osimhen

Napoli are ready to make Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus their No 1 target to replace Victor Osimhen amid claims the Nigerian striker is strongly considering a move away and amid growing links to Chelsea.

Osimhen’s future at Napoli exploded into the limelight recently after a bizarre post from the club’s social channels poked fun at the striker over a penalty miss with his agent initially claiming the player was considering taking action against the club. And while tensions between the two parties have since eased somewhat, talk is growing that all is not entirely well behind Osimhen and Napoli despite the Neapolitans describing the player as a “club treasure”.

Indeed, Chelsea have been strongly linked with the striker as the 2024 January window fast approaches. The Blues are desperate to add more firepower to their ranks with Mauricio Pochettino’s side lacking a real focal point in attack. Indeed, Pochettino is seemingly desperate to get his hands on the Nigerian, who carries a prohibitive price tag on his head.

To that end, Napoli reportedly value Osimhen as much as €200m (£173m) given his record of 64 goals in 110 appearances for the reigning Serie A champions.

However, with the striker’s contract expiring in 2025, Napoli would be hard-pressed to achieve anything like that sort of fee for their prized asset. And with moneybags Chelsea lurking with intent, there appears a growing realisation in Serie A that Napoli won’t be able to retain Osimhen much beyond the current season.

And while a mid-season move appears unlikely, Chelsea are seemingly putting in the leg work to secure his signing at some point in 2024.

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Napoli want Gabriel Jesus to replace Victor Osimhem

As a result, Calciomercato reports that Napoli are gearing up for the 2024 exit of Osimhen. They report the 102 goal striker ‘doesn’t seem to be as happy as last season’ and ‘the risk of transfer is around the corner’ with his contract about to enter its final 18 months.

And while they state a transfer is ‘unlikely as early as January but certainly concrete next summer’, Napoli are ‘starting to look around’ in an attempt to avoid being ‘caught unprepared’.

To that end, Napoli are reportedly ready to turn their attentions towards Arsenal striker Jesus. The Brazil international moved to Emirates Stadium in summer 2022 and has scored 14 goals in 44 appearances for the Gunners to date.

When fit, Jesus is one of the first names on the Arsenal teamsheet, despite his less-than-prolific record in front of goal. Indeed, Mikel Arteta is a huge fan of the striker, whose best work is often done in his approach play and his unseflish running which brings others into play.

As a result, prizing Jesus from Arsenal will not be an easy task, with the 26-year-old’s deal still having another three seasons to run after this one.

Discussing would-be replacements for Osimhen, Calciomercato statses that Jesus is someone they ‘really like’ but admits ‘won’t be easy to take the Brazilian away from Arsenal’.

Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata and Jonathan David of Lille are also ‘on the list’.

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