Victor Osimhen's Napoli Future in Jeopardy After Controversial TikTok Videos
Victor Osimhen's future at Napoli has been cast into uncertainty following the emergence of controversial TikTok videos, and Saudi Arabian clubs are poised to lead the chase for his signature in the upcoming January transfer window.
The turmoil began with TikTok clips published by Napoli, which have since been removed. One of these videos centered on Osimhen's penalty miss during a recent goalless draw against Bologna. This miss was unusual for the Nigerian striker, who has netted 62 goals in 107 appearances for the Serie A champions. However, the video appeared to make light of the incident, featuring Osimhen appealing for a penalty with a peculiar sped-up voiceover and the caption, 'Gimme penalty please,' followed by the sight of the penalty shot going wide.
Another video, allegedly posted by the club's account and later deleted, compared Osimhen to a 'coconut,' a term often regarded as a racial slur. In response, Osimhen's agent, Roberto Calenda, is considering legal action against the club, further fueling speculation about his potential departure.
Saudi Arabian clubs are gearing up to secure Osimhen's services in the January transfer market, having made significant signings during the recent summer window, attracting stars like Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante, and Aymeric Laporte.
Real Madrid has also expressed interest in Osimhen, looking to bolster their attacking options following Benzema's departure. Meanwhile, Chelsea has emerged as another potential suitor due to their struggles in front of the goal this season.
However, Chelsea may face complications in pursuing Osimhen due to their newly introduced wage structure, which links player contracts to Champions League qualification, resulting in fluctuating wages.
The club's owners have adopted longer contracts with significantly lower wages for new signings, despite substantial expenditures in transfer fees.
The pursuit of Osimhen may be influenced by Clearlake Capital's plans to reduce the club's wage bill by £80.6 million annually. Osimhen's contract with Napoli is set to expire in June 2025, which could force the club to consider a sale in either the January or summer transfer windows.
Previously linked with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, Osimhen is currently valued by Napoli at around £150 million.
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Published: 07:42 EDT, 27 September 2023 | Updated: 09:21 EDT, 27 September 2023