Chelsea transfer target signs new contract with massive release clause

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
27/12/2023
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Victor Osimhen could move to Premier League soon.

The 24-year-old Nigerian could move to the Premier League in January. Chelsea, Arsenal, and others are interested. 

News Insights

  • Napoli’s Osimhen has signed a new contract.
  • €130 million ($210 million AUD) release clause in the contract is attractive to PL clubs.
  • Chelsea are the most likely club to sign Osimhen.
  • It’s unlikely Osimhen leaves in January.

Napoli and Victor Osimhen announced this week that the 24-year-old striker had signed a new contract with the club. On paper, it’s kind of a confusing deal, as Osimhen’s new contract is only one year longer than his old one. However, it starts to make sense when you consider he’s nearly doubled his wages and now has a €130 million ($210 million AUD) release clause. 
 
Osimhen was recently named African Player of the Year and is widely regarded as one of the best players in Italy’s Serie A and all of Europe. 

Release clause to tempt Premier League giants

While Napoli fans were celebrating the news of their striker’s new contract, Premier League fans were also celebrating. Osimhen has been linked to numerous top Premier League clubs for at least the past two seasons.  
 
Liverpool, Manchester United, and Arsenal have all registered their interest in Osimhen over the years, but only one club was serious enough to make a bid. That club was Chelsea.  
 
Unfortunately for the Blues, Napoli were unwilling to sell Osimhen last year. Napoli Chairman, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has a long history of deeming his stars untouchable and not selling them for whatever the price.  
 
Now that Osimhen’s contract has a release clause, De Laurentiis will  not be able to say no if a big club comes in with an offer at the release clause amount. €130 million is by no means cheap, but Chelsea, Arsenal, and another of the Big 6 Premier League clubs could afford to pay this fee easily for a player like Osimhen.

Where will Osimhen go?

As we explained above, there are a number of Premier League clubs interested in Napoli’s star man. However, Chelsea are the most likely club to sign Osimhen. This is what the betting sites think, what we think, and most importantly, what soccer insiders all around the globe think.  
 
Chelsea have been terrible this season. There’s no other way to put it. The side currently sits in 10th following their 2-1 loss against Wolves on Christmas Eve. That match, and several others this season, showed just how desperate the Blues are for a genuine goalscorer.  
 
Need is one thing, but do Chelsea have the financial means to get the deal done? They absolutely do, and they are willing to spend as well. Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have spent over a billion pounds on new players. Even if they miss out on European competitions again this season, they should still be able to spend more without breaching the Premier League or UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.  
 
Arsenal are the other most likely landing spot for Osimhen, but they might not be as willing to spend big on the striker position considering they already have Gabriel Jesus there. If not Chelsea or Arsenal, Osimhen could be the first marquee signing of the Jim Ratcliffe era at Manchester United. 

Osimhen unlikely to leave in January 

Some reports claim Osimhen could leave Napoli as soon as January. However, the vast majority of reports say he will be staying in Naples until the summer transfer window.  
 
With that being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if Osimhen decides to backtrack on his commitment to Napoli and tries to leave the club earlier than the offseason window. The Nigerian has had multiple spats with the club publicly and has no real reason not to leave now.  
 
Napoli are seventh in the Serie A table with no chance of challenging for the title. The club could still qualify for the Champions League, so it wouldn’t be a complete waste if Osimhen stayed, but there’s really nothing for him to play for now. 

If Osimhen does stay in January, teams may look to other top strikers. Sporting Club de Portugal’s Viktor Gyokeres, Brentford’s Ivan Toney, and Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy are the main names we expect big clubs to be circling around in the January window.