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According to reports, the Premier League’s Arsenal are the favorites to sign Napoli’s star Nigerian attacker Victor Osimhen.
The attacker has had an extremely productive season in 2022-23, scoring 21 goals and dishing out four assists in 26 games for the Serie A leaders.
Osimhen has scored 19 goals in the Italian Serie A this season, which makes him the league’s leading scorer and has attracted a lot of attention from clubs abroad.
Napoli are on the verge of ending a 33-year wait for the Serie A title, with 15 points separating them from second-placed Inter Milan.
Osimhen has been a standout for the team, with his skill in front of goal coupled with explosive pace and power proving a real handful for Serie A defenders and even the more elite backlines the side have come across in the Champions League.
Gunners Leading Race to Sign the Nigerian Goal Scorer
Osimhen is drawing interest from a number of Europe’s top teams, including Chelsea, Manchester United, and Paris Saint-Germain due to his outstanding play.
But, according to Italian news source RAI, Arsenal are presently in the lead to recruit the Nigerian as they want to strengthen their attack.
In order to get the 24-year-old to North London, the current Premier League leaders would have to spend a significant amount.
According to the most recent reports, Napoli will seek €150m (£133m) for the striker, which would surpass the British transfer record recently set by Enzo Fernandez’s January move to Chelsea for £105m.
With Osimhen’s contract running until June 2025, Napoli will be secure in their negotiating position and will not be too concerned if they have to hold on to their star striker past the summer given their recent successes.
Osimhen to Provide Further Depth at Striker for Arsenal
This season, Arsenal’s primary central strikers have been Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus, although the latter has not played since the 2022 World Cup due to a knee injury.
Jesus is expected back after the international break later this month but whether he will be able to return to his pre-injury form remains to be seen. The side will feel that further options up front will see them avoid any trouble in the future.
Folarin Balogun, a 21-year-old Arsenal player, is presently on loan at French club Reims, where he has been in outstanding form, scoring 15 league goals in 25 games.
In the summer, a decision must be taken regarding Balogun’s future at Arsenal, but he may struggle for playing time if the Gunners sign the Napoli player.
Osimhen, who has scored 15 goals in 23 international appearances for Nigeria, will attempt to hit a historic milestone on Saturday when Luciano Spalletti’s team faces Atalanta.
The striker, who has scored 49 goals in 88 appearances for the Italian side, will attempt to reach 50 goals for Napoli.
Osimhen was signed for Napoli from French side Lille where he scored 18 goals for the side in the 19/20 season across all seasons.
Previous to that the striker played for Charleroi in Belgium (four goals scored in 18/19 season) and also had a scoreless stint in the Bundesliga for VFL Wolfsburg.