Napoli president takes Osimhen off the shelf; ‘He’s no longer for sale!

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Victor Osimhen is taken off the shelf in the transfer market

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis insists the Scudetto frontrunners do not have to sell rumoured Manchester United and Chelsea target Victor Osimhen.

Nigeria international Osimhen is reportedly a target for the Premier League pair, as well as other big names across Europe, after starring for Serie A leaders Napoli this season.

The 24-year-old has 17 goals this campaign – the joint-sixth most of any player across Europe’s top five leagues – and has assisted a further three goals in his 21 appearances.

While interest in Osimhen will only intensify between now and the transfer window reopening in advance of next season, De Laurentiis has made it clear Napoli are not looking to cash in.

“Victor is not for sale,” he told German outlet Bild. “Our players are in high demand, but we are not forced to sell anybody. We don’t have any debts.”

Osimhen scored another brace in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Spezia as Napoli opened up a 13-point lead over closest challengers Inter at the top of Serie A.

He now has 53 goals in 95 league games across his past four seasons for Lille and Napoli – only Erling Haaland (87 in 87) has needed fewer games to reach the 50-goal mark.

Napoli will hope their in-form striker can make the difference when they face Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg taking place in two weeks’ time.

Eintracht are competing in the knockout stage of the competition for the first time, but De Laurentiis says Napoli will not be taking the Bundesliga title challengers lightly.

“In the beginning, the feeling was of a non-difficult draw, but it’s not exactly like this,” he said of Eintracht, who beat Barcelona in the Europa League quarter-finals last season.

“It’s not a coincidence they are in the race for the Bundesliga. We should not think we are a better team. Barca did it last season and we should not make the same mistake.”

Napoli have won their past two away games against German sides in European competition, beating Wolfsburg 4-1 in April 2015 and RB Leipzig 2-0 in February 2018

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