Victor Osimhen is poised to become Nigeria’s most expensive footballer if he makes the much anticipated move to Napoli.
Osimhen’s exploits with Lille last season, when he scored 18 goals and provided six assists in 38 games across all competitions, has seen several clubs launch mammoth bids to sign him this summer, with Napoli already tabling €60m for the Nigerian and have offered a reported salary of €2.5m per annum in a four-year deal.
He was voted the club’s player of the year and also scooped the prize for the Best African Player in Ligue 1.
The deal, if completed by Tuesday (today), will eclipse the £38m that Everton paid Arsenal for Alex Iwobi last season.
The previous records were held by Kelechi Iheanacho, Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa, when they joined new clubs in recent years.
Iheanacho broke the then-record of most expensive Nigerian footballer of all-time when he sealed a move from Manchester City to Leicester City in 2017.
The former U-17 champion switched the Etihad for the King Power Stadium for £25m, surpassing Ighalo’s £20m move from Watford to Changchun Yatai earlier.
Musa’s move from Leicester City to Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia was also put at around £18m
Meanwhile, Napoli’s all-time leading scorer Dries Mertens is anticipating Osimhen’s arrival, claiming he is precisely the type of player the club needs.
“My friends from Charleroi told me how well he (Osimhen) played before going to France,” the Belgian told Il Mattino on Monday.
“I don’t know if he will come, but in any case, he is precisely the type of footballer that Napoli needs.”
Also, Osimhen’s agent Osita Okolo confirmed the player’s interest in Napoli, asserting his fondness for both the team and the city of Naples.
“Victor likes Naples, a fantastic city, and obviously he also likes Napoli as a team,” he told TuttoMercato.
“The interest of a big Italian (club) personally does not surprise me considering how well he did with Lille.”