Napoli sporting director Mauro Meluso has outrightly dismissed the chance of striker Victor Osimhen leaving the Serie A side in the January transfer window.
Osimhen scored 31 goals in 39 appearances last term as the Partenopei won their first league title in 33 years.
The Nigerian international – who is one of the most valuable players in world football – has already found the back of net six times in ten matches this season.
At 24, he has been a constant name in the transfer window for several seasons, and following the recent incidents in Naples, he might be thinking of continuing his career elsewhere.
A number of clubs, including Manchester United and Bayern Munich, have shown interest in the past and have already got alternatives in Rasmus Hojllund and Harry Kane, respectively.
However, Liverpool and Chelsea are reportedly still in the race to sign the Nigerian striker and the latest words coming from Mario Meluso might hinder their chances in January.
Meluso rules out January exit for Osimhen
Meluso has poured cold water on reports that Osimhen could leave in the January transfer window. When asked about possible January exits from Napoli, he said: “No, no way. Absolutely not.
🚨🔵 Napoli director Meluso when asked about top players like Victor Osimhen leaving in January: "No, no way. Absolutely not".
"Our squad is very good and we feel relaxed. Of course we can improve it but it will discuss this topic later". pic.twitter.com/arAIYoFbie
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 27, 2023
A report emerged in Italy on Thursday which claimed that Liverpool ‘have moved decisively with several direct contacts’ over a potential move, while Chelsea ‘showed some interest already last summer’.
“Our squad is very good and we feel relaxed. Of course, we can improve it but it will discuss this topic later. We will certainly get together to understand how and whether to intervene,” it read.
On renewing Osimhen’s contract, which expires in 2025, Meluso added: “There will be a meeting between the president and Osimhen’s entourage over the next few weeks. It is part of the game and a little time is needed to think about it.”
Osimhen yet to commit future to Napoli
The striker has yet to commit his long-term future to Napoli as he looks to negotiate a big pay rise.
Although he has agreed to a new deal, Osimhen has not signed the deal with the Partenopei, and Napoli's President suggested to the media that the striker has decided to change his mind, saying: “If after a handshake things change, that is disappointing”.
Another report also suggested that the Nigerian was not happy about the comments of the manager and went ahead to speak about his love for Napoli.
“I am happy at Napoli. People don’t know how difficult it is to play in Serie A. From a tactical and physical point of view, it’s one of the most difficult leagues to play in,” said the Super Eagles star.
He has less than two years left on his current contract and could be allowed to discuss with potential suitors next summer if he fails to sign the new deal on the table.
Osimhen, who missed the last Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon due to a nasty face injury, is currently injured and he is expected to miss the opening round of the World Cup qualifiers starting next month.
January exit ruled out is good for Super Eagles
More importantly, Nigeria will be hoping to have a focused Osimhen available for the AFCON in January without all of the contract renewal issues.
Osimhen is expected to have been fully fit by then and the availability of a fully-focused forward without transfer issues would be good news to coach Jose Peseiro as well.
The Osimhen transfer saga is not over yet but for January at the very least, he is set to remain a Napoli player.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago