Chelsea have set their eyes on Napoli striker Victor Osimhen as a potential January transfer signing, with the Nigeria international striker valued at over €100 million.
Osimhen’s future at Napoli is on unsteady ground. The centre-forward was expected to agree a new deal with the Serie A club but talks have stalled, while he has been involved in a handful of controversial incidents since the season began, including TikTok controversy when the club’s official account appeared to mock him, once with racist undertones.
With Chelsea in need of a prolific scorer, Osimhen appears to be the obvious solution, but the Stamford Bridge side are faced with Financial Fair Play complications that could make funding a move that would get close to or perhaps exceed their club record transfer difficult.
Selling players, however, is an easy way to mitigate this problem, and with Chelsea boasting a huge pool, manager Mauricio Pochettino has his pick of stars who could be let go.
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How Chelsea can fund Osimhen transfer
Romelu Lukaku would be the dream player for Chelsea to sell.
The 30-year-old Belgium international was shunted out on loan to Roma in the summer and has shone in Serie A this season, scoring five in seven.
His Expected Transfer Value (xTV) has dropped to €37m, but if Chelsea could raise something around that fee for a permanent sale, it would eat significantly into the funds they need to find for Osimhen.
Similarly, Chelsea can seek to offload some excess defensive players. Trevoh Chalobah, for example, is out of the reckoning presently to feature in a packed central defensive area, and with an xTV also of €37m could prove a player who is profitable to sell on.
The Blues may also need to sell on one of their rising stars to fund the Osimhen transfer, but given Ian Maatsen has barely featured meaningfully this season, it may be a sacrifice that Pochettino sees as being worthwhile.
The Dutchman has six Premier League appearances to his name but has featured for just a total of 83 minutes.
All this, of course, works well in theory, but Chelsea will need to find buyers for these players. With European football troubled by financial issues, they may need to look to the Saudi Pro League once again to solve their problems.