Osimhen next to make the move to the Saudi Pro League?Published: August 07, 2023
Not long until the major global football leagues kick into gear, with the Premier League, La Liga, and Ligue 1 getting underway on 11th August, followed by the Bundesliga on the 18th August, and Serie A on the 19th.
As ever, the return of top-class competitive action will be welcomed by fans around the world, but things certainly haven’t been quiet on the soccer news front over the summer months, with the transfer window circus doing its level best to keep us all entertained.
Keeping up to date with the latest comings and goings continues to enthral supporters and bettors weighing their wagers ahead of the upcoming campaign. Many betting companies, such as those found at the best betting sites new players can sign up to, even offer odds on who will sign for whom before the transfer window slams shut.
All Action in Saudi Arabia
One of the most consistent threads running through the stream of transfer news has been the explosion in activity surrounding the up-and-coming Saudi Pro League, which through sheer financial power, is muscling its way onto the global stage.
Al-Hilal’s swoop for the world’s most valuable player, Kylian Mbappé, demonstrated that the new league's ambition is as deep as its pockets. With that audacious move seeming set to come to nothing, it appears that Al-Hilal may be turning their attention towards Napoli’s Nigerian superstar, Victor Osimhen.
One of the Hottest Properties in the Global Game
That Al-Hilal should be showing an interest in the 24-year-old native of Lagos should come as no surprise. Osimhen has, after all, just enjoyed the most successful season of his career in blasting Napoli to a first Serie A title in 33 years. That 26-goal tally during the 2022/23 campaign represented the highest single-season total by any African player in the history of the Italian top flight.
Moving into the prime years of his career and in flying form, Osimhen was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United this summer. However, Napoli’s valuation likely played a significant role in the Red Devils' decision to focus on fellow Serie A hitman Rasmus Højlund, who signed on the dotted line at Old Trafford in time for the new campaign.
Price No Obstacle for Al-Hilal
Whilst Manchester United – and Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and PSG, according to many reports – baulked at the asking price for Osimhen, Al-Hilal of the Saudi Pro League have not been put off. Initially seeing a €100m bid rejected, the club are said to have returned with an improved offer of €140m and personal terms for the player equating to an astronomical €1m per week – enough to turn anyone's head.
Having already brought in Ruben Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Malcom this summer, could Al-Hilal be about to top it all with a spectacular late window deal?
Napoli Keen to Hold On
As much as the interest in Osimhen is to be expected, it is equally clear that Napoli wishes to do all they can to hold onto their prize asset. At present, Osimhen is under contract in Naples until the summer of 2025, creating the potentially uncomfortable scenario of Napoli facing pressure to sell next summer when the player will have only a year left on his deal.
Keen to avoid that situation, Napoli are eager for the 25-cap Nigerian International to sign an extension to his current deal under improved terms. However, following seven meetings with the player’s agent, talks remain unresolved.
Will Osimhen remain at Napoli? Take the Al-Hilal riches on offer? Or let his current deal run down to fulfil his ambition of playing in the Premier League? Only Osimhen knows the answer, but the picture may be a little clearer by the time the Serie A season kicks off on the 19th of August.
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