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Chelsea monitoring Victor Osimhen situation at Napoli

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Osimhen is not happy with Napoli at the moment / Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Ciancaphoto Studio/Getty Images

Chelsea are keeping an eye on Victor Osimhen’s situation at Napoli after the striker’s agent threatened the Italian champions with legal action, sources have confirmed to 90min.

The Blues have long admired the Nigeria international, who led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years last season.

90min reported back in February that Osimhen was initially Chelsea’s primary striker target ahead of the summer transfer window.

However, as the striker appeared to be nearing an agreement over a new contract at Napoli, they shifted priorities elsewhere – Chelsea ended up making 12 signings ahead of the 2023/24 season instead and viewed Osimhen as more of an attainable target in the summer of 2024.

The situation is now threatening to change, however. Osimhen’s agent, Roberto Calenda, has confirmed that they are considering taking legal action against Napoli after the club posted a video disparaging the striker on TikTok.

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The post has since been removed but Osimhen is furious with how the club have treated him.

Calenda said on Tuesday: “What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable. A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.

“A serious fact that causes very serious damage to the player and adds to the treatment that the boy is suffering in the last period between media trials and fake news.

“We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor.”

90min understands Chelsea are continuing to monitor Osimhen’s situation at Napoli, though the Blues were maintaining interest ahead of the summer 2024 window regardless of this latest development.

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Earlier on Wednesday, 90min reported that talks between Osimhen and Napoli over a contract renewal had slowed due to a variety of issues in recent weeks, with the TikTok saga only serving to further complicate matters.

Osimhen’s contract currently runs until 2025, while any new deal at Napoli was expected to come with a release clause in the region of £130m (€150m).

Chelsea’s need for a new star striker has become more pressing following their woeful start to the new season.

The Blues have won just one of their opening six Premier League games, scoring only five goals. They currently only have two natural centre forwards in the first-team squad – academy graduate Armando Broja, who is just returning from an ACL injury, and summer signing Nicolas Jackson.

Hopes had been high for Jackson following an impressive pre-season campaign but he has managed just one goal and has already picked up a one-match suspension having picked up five yellow cards – all of these bookings were for dissent.

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During the 2022/23 season, Chelsea scored 38 goals in the Premier League. Osimhen alone grabbed 26 in 32 Serie A games for title-winning Napoli, becoming the first African player to win the Capocannoniere.

-90min

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Premier League

Sancho back in training with Man United after positive meeting with Ten Hag

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Jadon Sancho was back training with Manchester United for the first time in 10 months, with a club source confirming the winger and manager Erik ten Hag have resolved their differences following their public fallout last year.

Sancho and Ten Hag had a positive meeting at Carrington Training Centre and the two have decided to draw a line under last season’s drawn-out argument, the club source said.

The 24-year-old Sancho made just three appearances for United last season, spending the second half of the campaign on loan to Borussia Dortmund after his relationship with Ten Hag soured in September.

Ten Hag had left the winger out of his squad for United’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal, saying Sancho’s performances in training had not warranted a place in his team. Sancho immediately lashed out on social media, accusing Ten Hag of making him a “scapegoat.”

He was banished from the first team and trained with United’s youth squad before returning to his former club Dortmund in January, where he shone during their Champions League semi-final victory against Paris St Germain, earning praise from Ten Hag. Dortmund were beaten by Real Madrid in the final.

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“(Sancho) is a very good player… he showed why Manchester United bought him and he showed he represents a high value for Manchester United, which is good,” Ten Hag told reporters following Dortmund’s 1-0 win over PSG in the first leg.

“I’m happy for Jadon, for the performance, and we’ll see what is going to happen in the future.”

Sancho will not travel with the team to Norway for their pre-season opener against Rosenborg since he began training later than the other players but the club source said he would be available for selection after that.

-Reuters

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Another Nigerian blood replaces Ndidi at Leicester

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Wilfred Ndidi who has just left Leicester City will have another Nigerian blood replacing him.

Leicester has never been without a Nigerian since Ahmed Musa joined in 2016. Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho joined in 2017.

Another Nigerian blood, Caleb Okoli, a centre back, has just been signed from Italian  Serie A side Atalanta on a five-year contract. Born in Itali, Caleb Okoli is Igbo and Yoruba by descent.

The 22-year-old, who spent the last season on loan at Frosinone Calcio, represented Italy at the European Under-21 Championship last year.

“I think now is the right moment (for me) to make a step forward and a very big one. I’m very happy with the choice I made, so I’m very excited to start in the Premier League,” Okoli said in a statement. The clubs did not disclose financial details of the deal.

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Ruud van Nistelrooy returns to Man United

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United legend Van Nistelrooy is expected to be announced as one of Erik ten Hag's assistants

Manchester United legend, Ruud van Nistelrooy has been spotted being driven into Carrington, the training ground of Manchester United.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (left) and Rene Hake arrived at Manchester United’s training ground

Reports have it that the Dutchman is set to be appointed as one of Erik ten Hag’s new assistant coaches.

He played for Manchester United from 2001 to 2006.

Now  48, he reportedly turned down job offer from Burnley to return to his old club, having previously led PSV Eindhoven to second place in the Eredivisie and victory in the Dutch Cup.

He is being joined by Rene Hake, 52, who was persuaded to give up his job as Go Ahead Eagles manager despite leading the Deventer-based club into Europe for only the third time in their history.

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