Napoli are flying high in the Serie A this season under experienced manager Luciano Spalletti.
The Parthenopeans slapped Torino 4-0 on Sunday to stretch their massive lead at the top of the table to 19 points.
Victor Osimhen was instrumental in the demolition job against Il Toro, scoring two goals as he led his side to a comfortable victory at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.
The Nigerian striker has been in imperious touch this season, racking up 21 goals in just 23 league appearances for Napoli, with many tipping him for a Ballon d’Or if he can keep up his phenomenal goal-scoring run.
Napoli’s extraordinary campaign may soon be overshadowed by the news surrounding the future of their star striker, with the Sun now reporting that the side from Naples is facing a real crisis with devastating consequences.
Napoli paid £70.1 million for Osimhen in July 2020, but £17.5 million of that sum reportedly involved a complicated player exchange deal which saw four players moving to Lille, including goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and three other youth-team players.
These players never ended up on a football pitch, even once for the French side, nor did they ever make it to France.
It now appears that the inclusion of these players in the deal was an attempt to evade Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules and artificially inflate the value of the transfer.
This alleged scheme has caught the attention of the Naples Public Prosecutor’s Office, which has requested a six-month extension to investigate the transfer further.
The outcome of this investigation, which will be determined in the summer, could have severe implications for Napoli and completely derail their chances of winning their first Scudetto since 1990.
Juventus was hit with a 15-point penalty for incorrect accounting related to player transfer values and FFP falsifications.
While Napoli awaits the investigation’s outcome, Osimhen’s future with the club hangs in the balance.
The 24-year-old has a contract until 2025 at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, and Napoli are already aware that it will be tough to hold on to one of the hottest properties in Europe beyond the summer.
Osimhen’s performances have already attracted the attention of Britain’s finest, with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City all lining up for his signature.
The forward recently weighed in about the rumours surrounding his future, saying,
“When you are doing so well, top clubs worldwide are watching, mainly in the top five leagues.
“And to be able to be attract interest from these top clubs shows that I am doing great, and it gives me the motivation to do even more for myself and my team.
“But I am focused on Napoli right now, and they have the final say. I just want to help my team to win matches and win trophies.
“At the end of the season, we will see what is going to happen, but that is not up to me. It is for the club to decide.”
A price tag of a whopping €140 million has been bandied about for the Nigerian striker.
If a sale is not made this summer, Napoli risk Osimhen’s price going down.
The I Ciucciarelli do not have the financial muscle to offer their star forward the wages he will now be offered from teams in England. Thus the chances of him extending his stay in Italy are significantly lesser.
Wherever it may take him, the summer promises to be interesting for Napoli’s enigmatic forward.