Best Foreign Athlete in Italy and Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen, is likely to end up in Arsenal during winter transfer window as the North London Gunners appear the leading suitors to land the Napoli star.
Apart from Manchester United, a number of other top European clubs have lined up to lure the in-form Nigerian striker away from Napoli.
The 24-year-old is the outright top scorer in the Italian Serie A this season, having netted an impressive 19 goals in 21 matches.
According to Italian outlet Rai, as relayed by Tutto Napoli, the Gunners are favourites to sign Osimhen ahead of United and Chelsea, who are ready to pounce if they get the opportunity to bring him in.
Paris Saint-Germain have also been named as a possible destination as they boast a good relationship with Napoli. Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani and Fabian Ruiz are amongst the players to swap Naples for Paris in recent years.
It is understood only so-called ‘big clubs’ are speaking with Osimhen’s entourage over a potential move.
However, they would have to pay a record-breaking sum of money to prize him away from Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Rai claims that Napoli value Osimhen at least £133million, which would equate to a British record transfer, eclipsing Chelsea’s £106m move for Enzo Fernandez in January.
He wouldn’t be PSG’s record buy, however, with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar bought for £159m and £197m respectively.
Arsenal have never paid more than £72m for a player, having signed Nicolas Pepe for that amount from Lille back in 2019. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Ben White, Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Jesus complete their top-five most expensive transfers.
However, the Gunners will have to break their transfer record if they want to sign Osimhen – and it could be a risk worth taking.
Speaking at the Foreign Press Association award ceremony in Rome on Monday, he admitted his dream is to play in the Premier League without naming any club as his preference.
Osimhen, who has scored 21 goals in 26 appearances for Napoli this season, said: “I think playing in (Serie A) one of the top five leagues in the world is an amazing feeling for me and a good fit.
“A lot of people worldwide consider the Premier League the best and the strongest league but I am in a process.
“Now I am in one of the best leagues in the world, which is the Serie A, and I am working so hard to make sure I achieve my dream, which is to play in the Premier League one day.”
Despite his goals this season, Osimhen stressed that he cannot equate himself to Diego Maradona’s feat at Napoli yet.
“I don’t consider myself as an icon yet until I achieve the objective which the club has set itself for this season,” insisted Osimhen.
However, if Napoli wins the scudetto, he said: “I think (I) have a very big chance of being named an icon.”
But, he quickly added: “It wouldn’t compare to what Maradona has done for this club.”
Maradona inspired Napoli to win the Scudetto in the 1986/87 season at the height of the tension between the North and South Italy over economic development.
The club’s home ground has been named after the legendary Argentine following his death.
Naples are already getting ready for a big victory party with three million guests when they land a third championship.
Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis, however insisted that the wait, may not take longer in coming. “It’s been 33 years since the last Scudetto,”
He revealed that Naples’ close 3 million residents were already bracing for the big party to celebrate the third Scudetto coming to their City.
“Another title could make the city go crazy, I think it is already going crazy and planning (a party]) which could involve two or three million people,” he added.