Osimhen: From TikTok saga to Napoli extension, but Chelsea and Arsenal still have transfer hope
Victor Osimhen has forgiven Napoli for the TikTok chaos that erupted in September, signing a...
Victor Osimhen has forgiven Napoli for the TikTok chaos that erupted in September, signing a new contract until 2026, but clubs interested in the Nigeria international, including Chelsea, still hope to secure his services in the summer thanks to a new release clause, writes Lorenzo Bettoni.
Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis made the best Christmas present ever to the Partenopei supporters by announcing Osimhen’s contract extension on Saturday.
Several reputable sources, including Fabrizio Romano, claim Osimhen will earn €10m per season with his new deal. However, there is a new release clause believed to be in the region of €130-140m.
This is why clubs interested in the Nigeria international still have hope to secure his services at the end of the season. Osimhen is not expected to leave Napoli in January when the 24-year-old will be busy outside the Peninsula as he will be involved in the Africa Cup of Nations with his national team.
Many thought the story between Napoli and Osimhen would have ended differently, especially when the striker’s agent, Roberto Calenda, threatened to sue the club because of two TikTok videos seemingly mocking his client.
There were days of high tension under the Vesuvius after Calenda’s tweet (it was still called Twitter then). The Nigerian striker deleted most Napoli’s pictures from his Instagram account and ignored his teammates while arriving at the team’s hotel for a Serie A game against Udinese.
Osimhen was also unhappy with coach Rudi Garcia and had openly criticised the Frenchman a few days earlier when he had been subbed off after missing a penalty kick against Bologna. That same penalty was the subject of one of the TikTok videos that infuriated the striker and his entourage.
Napoli, however, were quick in setting things right. De Laurentiis and his son Edoardo spoke several times to their star, making him understand that the club didn’t mean to be disrespectful. The same did Napoli’s social media manager who apologised to Osimhen and, as explained by the striker himself, proved to be “deeply sorry.”
The club have made other changes too. Rudi Garcia’s sacking has probably pleased many players inside the dressing room, as the Frenchman never really managed to be on the same page with Napoli stars. Walter Mazzarri appears to give more freedom to Osimhen and his teammates, although results have been frankly just as disappointing.
In other words, the club did all they could to prove Osimhen their respect and admiration and rewarded him for contributing to their first-ever Scudetto in 33 years.
It remains to be seen if this will be his last season at the Stadio Maradona. If confirmed, a price tag of €140m seems to be relatively accessible for the wealthiest clubs in the world, including Arsenal and Chelsea who have paid similar fees to sign new players recently.
With 67 goals in 118 Napoli games and a Capocannoniere crown already in his pocket, Osimhen has already proved to be a striker who can surely be worthy of such a sum, but now Napoli fans want to enjoy him for a few more months.