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Napoli’s newly appointed manager, Rudi Garcia Highlights Difficulty in Replacing Osimhen

Napoli’s newly appointed manager, Rudi Garcia, has openly acknowledged the daunting task that lies ahead if the club needs to find a suitable replacement for Nigerian sensation Victor Osimhen, according to PUNCH Sports Extra.

With just a month remaining before the start of the Serie A season, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has yet to reach an agreement with Osimhen’s representatives regarding a contract extension. It is expected that the matter will be discussed in person when Osimhen returns to training on July 19, with Garcia present, in an attempt to convince the 24-year-old to commit his future to the club.

In an interview with La Repubblica, Garcia stated, “Finding a replacement for Osimhen would not be an easy task. His presence provides us with a sense of security and calmness as we aim to defend our title.”

According to reports from Italian publications such as La Gazzetta dello Sport and Il Corriere dello Sport, the French coach has already conveyed to De Laurentiis his reluctance to sell Osimhen or his strike partner, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, during the summer transfer window.

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Given Osimhen’s exceptional performance last season, it comes as no surprise that both Napoli fans and the coach fervently hope that the Nigerian international will remain at the club for the upcoming season.

Osimhen’s remarkable tally of 31 goal contributions (26 goals and five assists) from 32 league appearances played a pivotal role in Napoli clinching the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years. Additionally, he became the first African player to claim the prestigious Capocannoniere award, given to the top scorer in Serie A.

The striker also shattered a 14-year record by becoming the first player since Zlatan Ibrahimovic to secure both the Scudetto and the Capocannoniere in the same season.

Unsurprisingly, Osimhen’s outstanding performances have attracted interest from several top clubs in Europe, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid. However, it is worth noting that the forward’s contract with Napoli runs until 2025.

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Sources suggest that Napoli would demand a fee of €150-160m for the services of the Nigerian international and will persist in their efforts to extend his contract. La Repubblica reports that any offer for Osimhen will only be considered by the Italian champions within the next two weeks.

Football Italia reported on Monday that De Laurentiis had insisted that Osimhen won’t leave Napoli unless a “more than indecent offer” is made, during the presentation of their new kit for the 2023/24 season, which prominently features the Scudetto symbol for the first time in 33 years.

“Osimhen will absolutely wear this new jersey. If a more than indecent offer were to come in, then we’d consider it and would be able to find other talented players. Don’t worry, the Azzurri passion that ignites our hearts is here,” Laurentiis said.

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