LIVERPOOL’S hopes of signing Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen as a replacement for want-away Belgian Divock Origi appears to have faded after the Lille marksman moved to finalise his transfer to Italian giants Napoli today.
Osimhen, 21, is one of the hottest properties in Europe at the moment after scoring18 goals for Lille in the 2019/20 season, helping the club finish fourth in the French league. Over recent months, he has been the subject of a lot of speculation, with several English clubs including Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspurs and Chelsea all linked with him.
In Europe, the likes of AC Milan and Barcelona have also been linked with the striker but it appears that only Napoli have been able to meet Lille’s asking price. It appears that Lille and Napoli have agreed on a €81m transfer fee and Osimhen is currently in Naples meeting with club officials who are expected to announce the finalisation of the deal soon.
There had been talk of Liverpool keen to cash in on the deal with a view to signing Osimhen as a replacement for Origi, who has struggled for minutes during this season’s title campaign. Origi, the Belgian, has started just six league games this season, scoring three times and made just one start in the Reds’ unsuccessful Champions League defence, against Genk in the group stages.
Origi, 25, joined Liverpool after playing for his country at the 2014 World Cup but has never been a regular for the club. He has spent two loan spells away at Anfield and finally made his 100th appearance for the Reds earlier this season.
Cristiano Giuntoli, Napoli’s sporting director, the mastermind behind the club’s dealings in the transfer market over the last four years, is thought to be meeting with Osimhen today. He has already received the striker’s approval for the move and they expect to finalise all the fine details this week.
It is believed Osimhen has agreed a five year deal with Napoli that will see him become the highest paid Nigerian player ever. In an unprecedented twist, Napoli manager Gunaro Gattuso is said to have offered to take a cut his own salary to raise the funds for Osimhen’s purchase.