Chelsea receive major boost in race to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen: Reports 

Bologna FC v SSC Napoli - Serie A TIM
Chelsea are looking to swoop for Napoli's Victor Osimhen.

Chelsea's pursuit of Victor Osimhen may have moved a step closer as Napoli have reportedly agreed on a deal to sign Hellas Verona forward Cyril Ngonge.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports that Gli Azzurri have agreed terms with Hellas Verona to sign Ngonge in a €18 million plus add-ons deal. This could be significant for Mauricio Pochettino's Blues as they continue to be linked with Osimhen.

Reports claim that Osimhen, 25, is prepared to join Chelsea in the summer. The Nigerian frontman signed a new deal with Napoli last month, keeping him tied to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium until June 2026.

However, that deal includes a £112 million (€130 million) release clause which the west Londoners will have to trigger to secure his services. Pochettino is crying out for a proven goalscorer to help ignite his somewhat stagnating attack.

Osimhen has enjoyed a prolific four-year spell with Napoli thus far, posting 67 goals and 17 assists in 119 games across competitions. He finished last season as Serie A's top goalscorer with 26 goals in 32 games.

Pochettino currently has two strikers at his disposal: Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja. The former arrived from Villarreal last summer for €37 million but has struggled to impress, with eight goals in 23 games across competitions.

Meanwhile, Broja has failed to cement a place in Chelsea's starting lineup consistently. The Albanian forward has just two goals in 17 games across competitions this season.

Fabrizio Romano rubbished reports claiming Chelsea have reached a pre-agreement with Napoli for Osimhen

Mauricio Pochettino is expected to push for Victor Osimhen in the summer.
Mauricio Pochettino is expected to push for Victor Osimhen in the summer.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has poured cold water on reports claiming the west London giants have reached a pre-agreement with Napoli for Osimhen. There have been reports that a deal has been struck between the two European heavyweights over a fee that would be paid in the summer transfer window, per The Chelsea Chronicle.

However, Romano insisted this isn't the case and that such a deal makes no sense. He said (via the source above):

"No pre agreement with Napoli or player side for Victor Osimhen has happened this month, I don’t know where these rumours are coming from but I would say at this point makes no sense."

Chelsea reached a deal with RB Leipzig for Christopher Nkunku in a similar manner last year. They agreed on a €60 million fee with the Bundesliga club for the French attacker in the winter of 2022 before completing the deal in the summer of 2023.

However, Osimhen's situation differs as he has a release clause following his contract extension. The Blues are being cautious about Financial Fair Play having spent over £1 billion (€1.16 billion) since Todd Boehly became co-owner in May 2022.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett
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