One of the world’s most vaunted transfer negotiator can’t seal a new deal for Europe’s most wanted striker
Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis
By Ed Emeanua
Hilal sprawling edifice in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia keen to for Victor Osimhen’s majestic presence
Napoli owner, Aurelio De Laurentiis is regarded as one of the most skillful negotiators in Europe’s volatile football transfer markets, but the legend is now having a torrid time sealing the renewal deal for his team’s and Nigeria forward, Victor Osimhen.
Discussions to find a common ground between Team Osimhen and Napoli have been going on for weeks with no end in sight of striking an all encompassing acquiescence.
What could then be impeding the deal for a new contract for the Napoli forward between Club president and player agent, Roberto Calenda?
Victor Osimhen in Wolfsburg colors before meeting his present agent
Victor Osimhen (Right) and his manager, Roberto Calenda (Left)
Despite several meetings between the pair, no agreement has been struck to extend the Nigeria striker’s stay in Naples. Napoli have incessantly telegraphed their aim to keep their prized forward by offering him a renegotiated deal with an extended end date and most likely, a new buyout clause.
The main aim of the Club being to shield the establishment’s prime goalscorer from preying eyes the world over, who may get desperate to lure and extricate the Nigerian from the Napoli football project.
Napoli wants to keep the Nigerian on a long-term contract and protect their interest in their prime star from the plethora of serious potential buyers from across the Globe. However, so far, Napoli’s desires regarding Osimhen are being fulfilled in this regard, even as talks between Club and the player’s group have failed to produce the Neapolitans’ desired results.
The Partenopei are right to want an extended deal with their 24-year-old striker as current Serie A champions for the purpose of keeping to the Club’s focus of remaining a force in both Italian and European football.
Moreso, we are talking about a Club like Napoli who once owned the rare pedigree of being the side that helped place one of the Planet’s most renowned players- late Diego Armando Maradona-under world football klieg lights in the 1980s and beyond.
Will Victor Osimhen decide to move from Napoli Stadium – Stadio Diego Armando Maradona – Football Tripper
Where will Victor James Osimhen call his the next home?
Or will the Napoli forward be moving to the Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
Watch saw of the Napoli striker’s goals moments
Aside that, Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli S.p.A. are not an ordinary club, as Gli Azzurre are also the current holders of the scudetto, a feat delivered largely out of Osimhen’s prolific goal scoring skills and marksmanship.
The Nigerian accounted for 26 goals in 38 match days outing in the 2022/2023 season, and leading the club to end their 33-year-old Serie A winless record.
Also, as Italy’s Serie A champions, SSC Napoli are to going to be the cynosure of all eyes when considering Italy’s chances of landing next season’s UEFA champions league trophy.
Now that Osimhen has been able to deliver the Scudetto to De Laurentis’ Napoli, next on the agenda for the Napoli president would be that the Nigeria forward assist his side to land the Champions League crown for the Parthenopeans.
To reactivate Napoli’s past glory remains the main goal for the coming of De Laurentiis to Naples. For these reasons and more, the Neapolitans will not want to lose a player like Osimhen just out of the need for better fiscal balancing considerations.
It would certainly require an agreement of paying a ridiculously high figure from any side in the world for Napoli to allow Osimhen out of Naples.
De Laurentiis’ shrewdness has made him wise to the fact that few sides in Europe can afford to part with Є200M for a player like Osimhen, who in the eyes of the continent’s transfer negotiators is still seen as a dark horse, despite his most recent success in Serie A.
Sides like Manchester United and Chelsea, who are keen to have his services, could be willing to part with an amount in the region of Є80-Є100 million, but few football analysts expect an English Club side to pay anything above that for a greenhorn like Osimhen.
Such a thought is hard to fathom. But the world of football is saturated with risk takers and dreamers, so anything is still possible,
For the same reason, a side like PSG will not stretch into its pockets beyond Є120M to acquire the forward as current overtures from Les Parisiens have suggested, no matter how deep the pockets of PSG truly is.
After all, No-one knows what Osimhen will bring with him to a new terrain considering that the Nigerian forward failed to deliver in Germany, though he has been prolific with scoring goals in other climes after Bundesliga.
The rider that seems to dog the Nigerian remains; if he could not cut it in the rugged German football, who is certain that Osimhen would fare any better under a more physical football approach like the English Premier League (EPL)?
Also, it appears that Team Osimhen are too scared to press for his transfer from the Club for the same reason that they do not know if their man would continue with his present scoring streak under the physical nature of the EPL or other tougher leagues. Moreover, the Napoli forward has been prone to injuries of recent, so, there are lot to be chewed over by any serious investor over this player.
So, the Napoli president knows that his demand for a ‘scandalous offer’ for Osimhen will perhaps, not likely materialize out of Europe. And with Team Osimhen not pressing for his release despite all the offers poring in from Europe for his services so far exceeding the release clause in his current deal with Napoli, there is nothing anyone can do to make the Napoli boss release him.
Also, note that Napoli has always raised the bar with each given increased offer for their most prized asset from current suitors. With Osimhen seeming reluctant to press for his move from Naples, this cards are all falling into place for Napoli’s aim to keep their prolific striker in Naples.
However, the Napoli owner failed to configure into his renowned shrewd imaginations that lobbyists for Osimhen’s services would somehow extend beyond the confines of Europe. Now enter the play from the billionaires of the Arab World and the ultimate game changer is here.
The current problem for the Napoli president is that there are many clubs if not from Europe, but outside that continent with similar ambitions like his Partenopei, and those prospectors are even far richer and can throw such a ridiculous figure that the Napoli owner has been asking for around for a taking.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have not hidden their intentions to gain acclaim outside just being known for their wealth and sometimes, outrageous notoriety, but as a major discussion point especially through football.
Qatar has been throwing its oil money around for quite some time and has just hosted the FIFA World Cup successfully, thereby also successfully showcasing its immense potentials to the outside world. The audacious spending is bound to attract competition from fellow rich Arabian nations in due time and season.
As if right on cue, on the heels of Qatar’s World Cup hosting feat, and in one of the most outrageous football movements of current times, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo transferred to Saudi club Al-Nassr on January 1, 2023, after completing a deal that would be valid until 2025.
The shocker is that, just as most people in the Arab zone know Al-Nassr, the Saudi club is not as famous globally. This shows that there is a major movement to build Saudi Arabia’s football and money has never been a problem in this very kingdom.
Sky Sports recently reported that the Partenopei received an offer of €140M ($154M) from Al Hilal for the services of the Nigerian forward following the protracted negotiation of his contract extension between Napoli and Osimhen’s group.
With only two seasons left on Osimhen’s present agreement with his Club, the Saudi Premier League (RSL) Al Hilal are also reported to have offered a captivating €1M per-week wage ($57.2M per season) to convince the Nigerian to leave Naples for Riyadh. This prospective wage offer will hike Osimhen’s weekly wage at Naples from the princely sum of €76,000 ($84,000) by a kingly colossal 1215%. Who in their right mind could pass off such a sudden change in personal fortune?
The lure of money and the need for competitive football for a young footballer on the ascendancy is now fully on a collision course. With a nifty Club president set to exploit a situation that is ripe for his selfish picking, who knows where this wind will blow?
Osimhen will sooner than later realize that a football career is only as lucrative as how fit a player is at any given moment. Also, he should know that the value of a player is only as pricey as his last outing, and that, sooner or later, the career of every player with a name and a shape must come to an end either due to injury or old age.
Just as injuries comes to footballers unannounced and terminates their careers, a player’s career can crash to a halt with just such an occurrence. The Nigerian would do himself a word of good by leaving Naples for a greener pastures, even if it means playing less competitive football in the expense of a sumptuous remunerations. Who cares? Or do you?