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Soccer News of Saturday, 28 October 2023


Osimhen won’t leave Napoli in Jan

Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen

Napoli sporting director, Mauro Meluso, has dismissed any possibility of Victor Osimhen leaving the Serie A side in January, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Osimhen continued his fine form of last season into this campaign, scoring six goals in 10 appearances which has put him on the radar of Chelsea and Liverpool who are both desperate to sign the Nigerian.

However, according to Meluso, the forward won’t leave Napoli in January, despite entering the last 18 months of his contract in January 2024.

Osimhen is yet to commit his long-term future to Napoli as he looks to negotiate a big pay rise, while the defending Serie A champions had to release a statement recently on a bizarre TikTok video seemingly mocking the 24-year-old.

When asked about possible January exits for Osimhen from Napoli, Meluso said, “No way. Absolutely not.

“Our squad is very good and we feel relaxed. Of course, we can improve it but we will discuss this topic later. We will certainly get together to understand how and whether to intervene.”

On renewing Osimhen’s contract, which expires in 2025, Meluso added, “There will be a meeting between the president and Osimhen’s entourage over the next few weeks. It is part of the game and a little time is needed to think about it.”

Osimhen is currently recuperating from a hamstring injury he suffered while in action for Nigeria in their 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia in an international friendly on October 13 and will miss Nigeria’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe next month.

The star striker has already missed Napoli’s wins against Hellas Verona in Serie A and Union Berlin in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Osimhen will know his Ballon d’Or fate on Monday when the award ceremony holds at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France.

Manchester City trio Erling Haaland, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne as well as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema top contenders for football’s most prestigious individual accolade.

Messi is eyeing an eighth victory after lifting the 2022 World Cup with Argentina while Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe will be hoping to win the award for the first time having led their respective teams to league titles just like Osimhen.

Other players hoping to win the Ballon d’Or award for the first time are Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane, Josko Gvardiol, Andre Ona amo Sala, Jamal Musiala, Bukao Saka, Kolo Muani, Bernado Silva, Khicha Kvaratshelia, Emiliano Marinez, Nicolo Barela, Martin Odegaard, IIkay Gundogan, Yassine Bounou, Julian Alvarez, Rodrigo, Lautaro Martinez and Luka Modric.

Karim Benzema who won the Ballon d’Or 12 months ago, beating Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne to the prize last year.