The last has not been hears about the long-drawn transfer saga that eventually saw Super Eagles’ youngster, Victor Osimhen finally confirmed in a five-year deal with SSC Napoli of Italy on Friday, as the lad is said to have held direct discussions with the managers of two English Premier League clubs, Liverpool and Manchester United before opting to move to Naples.
Megasportsarena.com gathered that, at a point suspense and a stalemate developed over the deal with Napoli, Osimhen’s new agent actually arranged one-on-one talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Man United and Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool, with a view towards taking the lad to England instead of accepting the offer from Napoli.
However, after pondering over the matter for a long, time and taking varying opinion from far and wide, including Napoli’s Senegalese defender, Kalidou Koulibaly, Osimhen eventually turned down Liverpool and Manchester to sign for Napoli.
The report by French newspaper, L’Equipe revealed at the weekend: “Former Lille striker, (Victor) Osimhen was unveiled as a Napoli following a £45million deal which has rumbled on for weeks. Four players from Napoli are also moving to France in exchange.
“Osimhen held conversations with both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp. Manchester United manager Solskjaer is on the lookout for a new forward and was keen to talk with the forward. Osimhen changed his agent shortly after finding an initial agreement with Napoli.
“It was something that nearly put the deal in jeopardy with his new agent keen to seal his client a move to the Premier League. That’s where he contacted Manchester United and Liverpool’s Klopp but ultimately Osimhen was set on joining Napoli.”
The 21-year-old Osimhen eventually officially became a Partenopei player on Friday, after the club confirmed he had signed a five-year deal reportedly worth an initial €50m, potentially rising to €80m.
The Naples-based club’s club president, Aurelio De Laurentiis enthused that Osimhen can be a ’30-goal striker’ for the Italian Serie A outfit; having scored 18 goals during 38 outings in his sole season with Lille, which won him two awards – the club’s Player of the Season and best African player in the French Ligue 1.
All these convinced the Napoli hierarchy to insists on having him at San Paolo Stadium, even after the youngster changed his agents in the course of negotiations, and the man that took over, William D’Avila has now disclosed how the trio of De Laurentiis as well as Napoli coach, Gennaro Gattuso and sporting director Giuntoli played key roles in convincing Osimhen to sign.
D’Avila told Naples-based Radio Kiss Kiss: “Each of them have been very important. Each of them have talked to Victor and each of them are a part of the reason why he chose Napoli, with all of them he spoke individually. De Laurentiis told him what is expected of him and he immediately put him at ease with regards to the project.
“Giuntoli was the key man, he worked hard, non-stop phone calls to convince the player. He also had single talks with Gattuso, with whom he immediately developed a great feeling. Special mention also for Maurizio Micheli, one of Giuntoli’s collaborators.”
De Laurentiis told Corriere del Mezzogiorno: “It is certainly a costly investment, but he is a strong striker who our sports director [Cristiano] Giuntoli advocated. He is a 30-goal striker. I met him and he made an excellent impression on me, I hope he quickly settles in our championship.”