Friday July 31 2020
Official: Napoli sign Osimhen

Victor Osimhen has officially signed for Napoli, announced President Aurelio De Laurentiis this afternoon, completing the deal with Lille.

He has put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Stadio San Paolo side.

“Can’t wait to put on this iconic jersey, thank you for the warm welcome Napoli,” wrote Osimhen on Twitter.

The 21-year-old Nigerian striker becomes one of the most expensive African players of all time, reportedly at €60m including bonuses, while goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis is moving to Lille as part of the deal.

He is also by far the most expensive signing in Napoli’s history, a record that was set last summer by Hirving Lozano from PSV Eindhoven for €38m plus bonuses.

French and Nigerian reports continue to insist the price was €81m, but that probably includes his salary.

Read Vilizar Yakimov's blog on why Victor Osimhen can light up Serie A, his characteristics and what he brings to Napoli.

Osimhen already passed his medical in Rome on July 18 and will be presented to the media in Naples after his summer vacation.

He will wear the Number 9 jersey, which is currently held by Fernando Llorente.

The negotiations had dragged on throughout the summer, with the drama of a dispute with his agent, then having to resume the talks with a different representative.

Despite Premier League rumours, particularly Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, Napoli were the only club to make a genuine offer for the 21-year-old.

Lille purchased him from RSC Charleroi last summer for €14m and he scored 18 goals with six assists in 38 competitive games for the French side this season.

“SSC Napoli are delighted to announce the signing of Victor Osimhen from Lille on a permanent transfer,” read the Napoli statement.

“The 21-year-old striker was born in Lagos, Nigeria on 29 December 1998.

“Osimhen came through the youth ranks at Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos and turned professional shortly after his 18th birthday when he joined Wolfsburg.

“He spent the 2017/18 season in Germany before moving to Charleroi on loan the following year. He was an instant success in the Jupiler Pro League, netting 20 goals in 36 appearances.

“Lille snapped him up in the summer of 2019 and he went on to play 38 times for the French side, bagging 18 goals in the process.

“Osimhen helped Nigeria win the U17 World Cup in 2015, when he finished as the tournament's top scorer with 10 goals. He made his full Nigeria debut in June 2017 and so far has 10 caps and four goals to his name.”


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