Chelsea have been told they can forget about signing Victor Osimhen in the January transfer window. Napoli sporting director Mauro Meluso has ruled that no players will be sold in the winter market – meaning the Blues will have to look at other striker targets if they want to land a new frontman for Mauricio Pochettino.
Pochettino has now been handed the reins over transfers and if he wants to sign a new No.9 – the Chelsea hierarchy are expected to fulfil his wish.
But the market is starved of standout options and Osimhen (24) is among the best names in the shop window alongside Brentford’s Ivan Toney.
However, Chelsea have refused to sign players over the age of 23 in recent windows gone by, though something has to give if Pochettino feels he requires more experience within his ranks.
Osimhen is yet to commit his long-term future to Napoli with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2025.
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He is due to hold further talks over a possible extension with Napoli and his agent Roberto Calenda in the coming weeks but should discussions fail to bear fruit – all signs point towards an end-of-season exit.
Relations have soured ever since Napoli posted two offensive TikToks on the social media platform in September and president Aurelio De Laurentiis claims Osimhen had previously provided indications he was prepared to sign a new deal.
Yet the agreement is yet to have been rubber-stamped and now the 24-year-old’s future hangs in the balance.
Even if they were forced to reluctantly sanction Osimhen’s departure next summer, Napoli would demand a premium fee for their most-valuable asset.
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Back in July, the Serie A champions rejected a bid worth up to £120million from Al Hilal for the prolific attacker. Paris Saint-Germain have also previously shown interest.
Sources have downplayed talk of interest from Liverpool, though that could change in the future if Mohamed Salah seals a transfer to Saudi Arabia.
Chelsea have struggled for firepower in attack this season and they’re eagerly awaiting the return of last season’s Bundesliga Golden Boot winner Christopher Nkunku.
Armando Broja has endured another challenging season and has failed to seize an opportunity to spearhead Pochettino’s attack due to some unfortunate luck with injuries.
Speaking on Friday, Pochettino indicated preparation on new recruits is already underway ahead of the January transfer window.
Pochettino indicated on Friday that preparations for the January transfer window are already well underway.
The Chelsea boss said: “Football is really dynamic. Maybe we are thinking in a different way to two or three weeks ago.
“We’re working with the sporting directors and owners to try to be ready and the moment the transfer window is open, we can see if the team needs to add some players in the position we are talking about, an offensive position.”
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