Lukaku could hold key in Chelsea’s Osimhen pursuit

Interest in Romelu Lukaku from Napoli could hand Chelsea a boost in their bid to sign Victor Osimhen from the Italian side.

Napoli are closing in on the appointment of former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte as the club’s new manager as the Serie A side look to bounce back from a disastrous title defence. Having won a drought-breaking Scudetto last season, Napoli ended 2023-24 10th in the table to miss out on European qualification.


Their dismal campaign is set to lead to the exit of leading scorer Osimhen, who has a release clause of around €130m (£110.6m) in his contract in Naples and is being courted by Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

Chelsea’s bid to sign the Nigeria international could be boosted by Conte’s impending appointment at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, according to Corriere della Sera.

The 54-year-old is reportedly keen on a reunion with Lukaku at Napoli, having coached the Belgian during a successful stint at Inter Milan.

Lukaku spent the current campaign on loan at AS Roma and has scored 21 goals in all competitions, though the capital club look unlikely to be able to afford the £37m fee to make the move permanent, after missing out on Champions League qualification.

Chelsea are desperate to offload Lukaku on a permanent basis and the Belgium international could be used as a sweetener in the club’s bid to sign Osimhen.


Chelsea’s record-breaking spending in recent transfer windows is expected to lead to limitations in the transfer market without significant sales, and the prospect of using Lukaku as a bargaining chip could help the West Londoners beat off competition from PSG and Arsenal for Osimhen.

The 25-year-old was the league’s leading scorer as Napoli won Serie A in 2022-23 and has scored 76 goals in 133 appearances for the club in all competitions.

He has previously discussed his ‘dream’ to play in the Premier League and has cited Chelsea icon Didier Drogba as a role model.

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