Italian football club Napoli is pulling out all the stops to retain Victor Osimhen, their leading goalscorer and a vital asset in their quest for the Scudetto. With wealthy clubs from Saudi Arabia showing keen interest, Napoli faces a significant challenge.
Guarding European Jewels from Saudi Suitors
The last three months have witnessed a rush of prominent footballers being lured to Saudi Arabia by the allure of riches. Victor Osimhen has not been immune to such overtures. However, Napoli's resilience is evident, not only in their rebuff of these advances but also in their proactive efforts to secure Osimhen's future at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium.
Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli's principal stakeholder, is orchestrating a masterstroke to protect the club's interest. Reportedly, he intends to include two pivotal clauses in Osimhen's forthcoming contract. Firstly, setting the release clause at a staggering €150 million, even though Osimhen prefers a slightly more conservative €110 million.
The second, and more audacious move, would double the release amount specifically for Saudi Arabian clubs. Such a strategy signals a potential new trend, with speculations that other European clubs might adopt a similar protective stance against wealthy non-European suitors.
Last month, in a candid admission, De Laurentiis stated, “We have a basic agreement on a two-year extension, but we are willing to consider an offer we could not refuse”.
Behind the Curtain: Insights from Sky Sports
Sky Sports reporter, Kaveh Solhekol, sheds light on the unfolding drama.
He believes Napoli's valuation will stand firm. If a revised offer isn't substantial enough from the Saudi club, it will likely be rejected. The fact that the Saudi club is rumored to be offering a tax-free £1 million per week to Osimhen makes the situation even more tantalizing.
“Al Hilal are a gift to football transfer reporters,” Solhekol adds, referencing the club's aggressive bids for football icons like Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, and Aleksandar Mitrovic. “They’ve been very active.
Some of their deals have worked out but they’ve missed out on a lot of players as well. If they want Osimhen they’re going to have to offer a little bit more”. Lest we forget, Osimhen’s phenomenal performance last season was instrumental in Napoli's title triumph.
In just 39 games, he netted 31 goals and contributed five assists. As the drama unfolds, the football world watches with bated breath to see where this young talent will ply his trade next.
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