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Osimhen set for imminent Napoli switch, confirms Lille chief

16:25 BST 16/07/2020
Victor Osimhen
The Nigeria international is set to complete his move to the Parthenopeans which will see him become the most expensive Nigerian player

General Director of Lille Marc Ingla has confirmed the imminent departure of their star forward Victor Osimhen to Serie A side Napoli.

The forward has been heavily linked with a move to the Parthenopeans lately following his eye-catching performances in his debut season with the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit.

After his initial fear of racism in Italy, the striker has now made up his mind to team up with Gennaro Gattuso’s men and to ensure the success of the move, after he recently changed his agent.

According to L'Equipe, the Nigeria international started negotiations with the Stadio San Paolo outfit on Monday and a deal of about €81 million could be reached soon.  

Should the move be successful, the forward would earn seven times more than what he currently earns at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit.

During the unveiling of Isaac Lihadj, Ingla affirmed Osimhen’s transfer to Napoli has reached the final stage of completion.

"We are in the last stage [of discussions]. The player has made his choice. It is a regret to see him leave but we must be aware of the strength of the market,” Ingla said.

"We do not hide our economic model. We must not only consider the amount of the transfer but also the salary that is offered to the player.

“We are not a final destination. With us, players thrive. We use their talent but we also build their careers. We are also in this process. It is the life of a club and the market. For him and his family, this can be an exceptional opportunity."

Last summer the French outfit sold Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal for £72 million and Osimhen’s deal could surpass that amount, which will see him become Nigeria's most expensive player.

The forward joined the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit last summer from Belgian side Sporting Charleroi and delivered fine performances.

The 21-year-old bagged 18 goals and provided six assists in 38 appearances across all competitions, winning the club’s Player of the Season award among other accolades.

Osimhen burst into the limelight at the 2015 U17 World Cup in Chile, where he won the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards to help Nigeria win the title.

The Ultimate Strikers Academy graduate, who currently has nine caps for the Super Eagles, will link up with Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly if his transfer is successful.