Napoli president ‘knew’ Victor Osimhen will leave in summer

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Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis has said he “knew” Victor Osimhen was likely to leave at the end of the season, adding that he expects the striker to join a team in the Premier League, Real Madrid, or Paris Saint-Germain.

De Laurentiis was asked by Italian media to comment after Osimhen hinted at a summer exit from Naples earlier this week, saying that he had made up his mind about his future but would only reveal his plans at the end of the season.

“We knew that since last summer,” De Laurentiis told reporters after a Serie A meeting on Friday. “That’s why the contract negotiations were so drawn out and amicable… but we knew perfectly well that he would go Real Madrid, to PSG or to a English team.”

Osimhen, 25, signed a contract extension with the reigning Serie A champions through June 2026 in December.

“I’m with Napoli, I signed a new contract. I’m enjoying my time there. I think I’ve already made up my mind, I already know what I want to do in my career,” Osimhen told CBS Sports on Tuesday.

“Since I’ve started, I’ve been the one making my own decisions and everything is working out well for me. I already know the next step I want to take, so for now I just want to finish the season strong.”

Napoli reportedly rejected an offer of more than €200 million ($218m) for Osimhen from a team in Saudi Arabia last summer.

The African player of the year joined Napoli from Lille in 2020 and scored 26 league goals in the 2022-23 campaign to help his side win the Serie A title.

Osimhen is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria. His team take on Cameroon on Saturday in the AFCON round of 16.

Laurentiis also denied that Mourinho would replace Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri. The Portuguese coach’s sacking by AS Roma earlier this month sparked numerous rumours about his future and has been linked with jobs in Saudi Arabia and Napoli.

“Mourinho has nothing to do with Napoli. He is a very funny and impulsive coach, but I feel his destiny lies outside Italy. Surely not at Napoli,” he added.

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