English Premier League side, Chelsea have made Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen their top transfer target this summer.
The London-based side are looking for a striker to lead the team’s line next season and believe the Napoli striker fits the best into what they want.
Osimhen has been in fine form this season, scoring 16 league goals in 17 games to top the Serie A scorers’ chart, with Manchester City’s Earling Haaland and Tottenham Hotspurs Harry Kane scoring more than him in Europe’s top 5 leagues with 25 and 17 goals respectively.
While Manchester United are also in the need of a striker and see Osimhen as one of their options, Chelsea, see themselves in pole position to get the €150m-rated forward.
According to 90min, one of the options being considered by the Blues is to offer Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku who is on loan at Inter Milan with cash in exchange for Osimhen.
Chelsea had broken their own transfer record in the summer of 2021 to sign Lukaku – who was returning to the club after 10 years – for €115m. He has however failed to live up to expectation, causing his return to Inter on loan.
Chelsea see offering Lukaku and cash for Osimhen as an options both sides will be willing to consider.
“Osimhen has two years remaining on his contract and so Napoli are prepared to demand his full value, with the Partenopei understood to be looking for close to €150m for the Nigeria international – a fee which has not scared Chelsea away.
“However, with extensive plans to sign players in other positions as well, Chelsea are expected to try and reduce that fee by offering a number of players in exchange, with Romelu Lukaku one of a number of possibilities if the Belgian does not return to Inter,” 90min reported.
Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has warned suitors that the Nigeria striker who joined the club from Ligue 1 side Lille for a record fee of a £80m was not for sale.
“I can tell you that Osimhen is not for sale,” he told Bild.
“Our players are in demand, but I don’t have to sell anyone. We don’t have any debts.”
90min added that Chelsea were also considering other alternatives ahead of what could be a long, tricky negotiations over Osimhen.
Amng them are Brentford’s Ivan Toney, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos, while they also pursued Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram during the winter and are keeping tabs on Dusan Vlahovic’s situation at Juventus.