Manchester United and Chelsea are both expected to enter the transfer market this summer to sign a striker – but one of their main targets almost joined Arsenal years ago
Osimhen, 24, has taken Italian football by storm this season to become one of the most sought after players in Europe. The Nigeria international has scored 19 goals in 21 Serie A appearances to send Napoli 18 points clear at the top of the table.
Napoli will be desperate to keep hold of Osimhen amid interest from Premier League sides Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Yet the Gunners tried to sign the prolific forward back in January 2017, when he left Nigeria to join Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.
Osimhen hit the headlines in the autumn of 2015, when he scored 10 goals to help Nigeria win the U17 World Cup for a record fifth time. The young striker claimed the Golden Boot for his efforts, with Wolfsburg and Arsenal battling for his signature.
Wolfsburg won that battle in January 2016, as they agreed a pre-contract deal with Osimhen. The move was finalised in January 2017. As Arsenal were left to lick their wounds, Osimhen explained his decision to snub a move to the Emirates in February 2016.
“It’s true that a big team like Arsenal wanted me and I feel honoured to be invited over,” Osimhen told BBC Sport. “But personally I feel Wolfsburg is a ladder for me to reach my professional goals.
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“Yes Arsenal is a good team for young players but Wolfsburg is the best club for me. This the best place for me to learn and develop because my heart is here with Wolfsburg… The club’s plan for my career is very encouraging and I believe with God on my side I can grow to become one of the best players in the world.”
Osimhen never scored a senior goal for Wolfsburg, but he’s flourished since leaving the German club, initially on loan, in the summer of 2018. The forward has scored goals for fun at Belgian side Charleroi, French outfit Lille and Champions League hopefuls Napoli.
Osimhen’s exploits have captured the interest of Arsenal again. Reports in Italy earlier this month suggested the Premier League leaders were the favourites to sign the talent, but he won’t come cheap. According to BBC Sport, he will cost between €100m (£89m) and €150m… and it is believed his transfer fee will be closer to the latter figure.
That price tag may prove to be too high for Mikel Arteta’s side, who already have two impressive strikers on their books in Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah. They also have Folarin Balogun, who has scored 16 Ligue 1 goals…
Read More: Arsenal £133m transfer mistake emerges with Man Utd and Chelsea poised to strike 2023-03-15 11:05:03