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Osimhen’s wage scares Chelsea away

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Renowned transfer market reporter Gianluca Di Marzio has suggested that Chelsea have cooled their interest in Victor Osimhen because of his wage demands.

Chelsea aim to return to the UEFA Champions League and are targeting a prolific striker to strengthen their squad, with Osimhen and RB Leipzig’s young star Benjamin Sesko identified as potential signings.

The Nigeria international signed a historical contract with Napoli in December 2023, with wages of ten million euros per season, making him the highest-paid player in the Italian Serie A.

Osimhen has also been linked with possible moves to Arsenal and Manchester United plus French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

The reigning African Footballer of the Year would cost 130 million euros, the value of his release clause, if he were to leave Napoli in the summer transfer window. 

Gianluca Di Marzio has pointed out that Osimhen’s substantial release clause and astronomical salary are major obstacles to a potential deal, and added that Napoli will have to lower the striker’s valuation so as not to scare away interested teams.

When asked if Osimhen will leave Napoli this summer, he told Sky Sports: “I think so, even if it’s difficult to arrange a deal with his really high exit clause of €130m. Nobody wants to pay this amount so Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis should ask for less money. 

“He has a very high salary and that’s why Chelsea didn’t go forward because after a meeting with his agent, they didn’t find an agreement with the salary.

“I think he will leave Napoli for less money than the clause.”

Gianluca Di Marzio noted that Arsenal, who are also in the market for a marquee center forward, could make a move for Osimhen. 

“Benjamin Sesko is one of the top targets for Arsenal but also other clubs like AC Milan.

“Arsenal will go for a striker, even Victor Osimhen could be a target. Arsenal need a striker like that. 

“I think Arsenal will be in for one of these important strikers this summer.”

The 25-year-old joined Napoli from Lille in 2020 for a club record fee of €77.5 million and has since accumulated 76 goals and 18 assists in 133 all-competition appearances.

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