Chelsea are keeping an eye on Victor Osimhen’s situation at Napoli after the striker’s agent threatened the Italian champions with legal action, sources have confirmed to 90min.
The Blues have long admired the Nigeria international, who led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years last season.
However, as the striker appeared to be nearing an agreement over a new contract at Napoli, they shifted priorities elsewhere – Chelsea ended up making 12 signings ahead of the 2023/24 season instead and viewed Osimhen as more of an attainable target in the summer of 2024.
The situation is now threatening to change, however. Osimhen’s agent, Roberto Calenda, has confirmed that they are considering taking legal action against Napoli after the club posted a video disparaging the striker on TikTok.
The post has since been removed but Osimhen is furious with how the club have treated him.
Calenda said on Tuesday: “What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable. A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.
“A serious fact that causes very serious damage to the player and adds to the treatment that the boy is suffering in the last period between media trials and fake news.
“We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor.”
90min understands Chelsea are continuing to monitor Osimhen’s situation at Napoli, though the Blues were maintaining interest ahead of the summer 2024 window regardless of this latest development.
Earlier on Wednesday, 90min reported that talks between Osimhen and Napoli over a contract renewal had slowed due to a variety of issues in recent weeks, with the TikTok saga only serving to further complicate matters.
Osimhen’s contract currently runs until 2025, while any new deal at Napoli was expected to come with a release clause in the region of £130m (€150m).
Chelsea’s need for a new star striker has become more pressing following their woeful start to the new season.
The Blues have won just one of their opening six Premier League games, scoring only five goals. They currently only have two natural centre forwards in the first-team squad – academy graduate Armando Broja, who is just returning from an ACL injury, and summer signing Nicolas Jackson.
Hopes had been high for Jackson following an impressive pre-season campaign but he has managed just one goal and has already picked up a one-match suspension having picked up five yellow cards – all of these bookings were for dissent.
During the 2022/23 season, Chelsea scored 38 goals in the Premier League. Osimhen alone grabbed 26 in 32 Serie A games for title-winning Napoli, becoming the first African player to win the Capocannoniere.