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Sports News of Saturday, 4 November 2023


Napoli wait on Osimhen as future shrouded in doubt

Victor Osimhen Victor Osimhen

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen is due to return to Italy next week to continue his recovery from injury as speculation intensifies over his future with the Serie A champions.

Osimhen, who finished eighth in this year’s Ballon d’Or voting, has made no secret of his “dream” of playing in the Premier League, with Chelsea and Manchester United reportedly pursuing the Nigerian.

The 24-year-old has been out since picking up a hamstring injury on international duty in a friendly against Saudi Arabia on October 13.

He was granted permission to travel to Nigeria to resolve personal issues but is expected to rejoin the team soon with a view to regaining full fitness by the end of the month.

“Victor has had a leave of absence, he will be with us next week. From a clinical point of view, the doctors will give me details on his condition,” Napoli coach Rudi Garcia said Friday.

“I am interested in all my men but especially in regards to when I’ll have them available because that’s my role and my main job.”

Napoli are seven points adrift of leaders Inter Milan after an unconvincing start to the season but will fancy their chances on Saturday against bottom side and regional rivals Salernitana, now coached by former Italy international Filippo Inzaghi.

Inter face a tricky test away to Atalanta ahead of Wednesday’s game at Salzburg, where a victory would send them through to the Champions League last 16.

Juventus have gone five games without conceding following their only loss of the campaign, a 4-2 defeat at Sassuolo in September, to climb into second.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side go to Fiorentina on Sunday hunting a fifth win in six for a team shorn of European commitments this season.

AC Milan will hope the visit of winless Udinese can help them get back on track before a crucial Champions League game at home to Paris Saint-Germain.

Milan have slid from the top of Serie A after losing to Juventus and then letting slip a two-goal lead in their draw in Naples last weekend.

They have yet to win in three European matches but could put themselves right back in the mix by beating PSG on Tuesday at the San Siro.