Chelsea make first contact in Osimhen transfer with swap deal lined up

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 5 May 2024 09:30 BST
  • 3 min read
Victor Osimhen, Chelsea, 2023/24

Chelsea appear to be progressing in a move to sign Victor Osimhen this summer after making ‘contact’ with Napoli to sign the striker from under the noses of Paris Saint-Germain.

A striker is believed to be top of Mauricio Pochettino’s shortlist this summer, having seen inconsistent displays in front of goal from Nicolas Jackson, while also having no fit and proven backup to the 22-year-old.

Article continues under the video

Osimhen has long-been linked with a move to Chelsea after previously admitting his affinity for the club and ambition to play in the Premier League and Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed that an intriguing swap deal could be negotiated.

READ MORE: Chelsea prepare €55m transfer bid for wonderkid dubbed 'next Messi'

Chelsea are understood to be pursuing a transfer worth between €80-90 million with the inclusion of a young player as a makeweight as well as Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 11 goals in Serie A while on loan at Napoli’s rivals Roma.

Lukaku is said to be a target of Napoli’s incoming sporting director Giovanni Manna, who previously wanted to bring the striker to Juventus, with the 30-year-old having no future at Stamford Bridge.

However, PSG are also set to open negotiations with Napoli over a transfer for Osimhen and the Nigerian has yet to indicate which team he prefers to join, while Lukaku is also yet to make a decision on his future.

Victor Osimhen is looking to leave Napoli this summer.
© IMAGO - Victor Osimhen is looking to leave Napoli this summer.

Chelsea seeking creative pathway to Osimhen

Osimhen has had an underwhelming campaign by his standards, with the 25-year-old being limited to just 22 league appearances due to injury, although he has netted 14 goals and three assists in his limited gametime.

Chelsea have been encouraged by the improvement of Jackson over the course of the season but the Senegalese international is still a work in progress despite his 11 goals and four assists in his debut campaign for Pochettino’s side.

READ MORE: Chelsea’s 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Osimhen only signed a new deal at Napoli in December but it is due to expire in 2026 and contains a release clause, believed to be around €100m, however no side has yet indicated they are willing to pay it in full.

A creative deal involving a player swap could be the most realistic pathway towards a transfer for Chelsea, with the Blues operating under tight margins after spending more than €1 billion on players in the Todd Boehly era.

Lukaku is also expected to face interest from Saudi Arabian teams and Chelsea are determined to cash in on the Belgian for a fee in excess of €30m.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.