Lille coach Christophe Galtier has admitted that Nigeria international Victor Osimhen is certain to leave the French Ligue 1 club in the summer transfer window.
Tottenham Hotspur are among the Premier League clubs interested in signing Osimhen but face competition from Italian clubs led by Napoli, while talks of a move to La Liga have cooled down in recent weeks.
The Super Eagles star has yet to resume pre-season training with Lille as he was granted compassionate leave to attend the funeral of his father.
“Regarding Victor and Gabriel, yes I integrated it, for a long time, that they are leaving, and we are working on players, who are currently here and who will arrive, likely to replace them,” Galtier stated.
The French football tactician revealed that Osimhen is expected to resume training next week.
“Regarding Yusuf Yazici and Timothy Weah, they are not yet fully integrated into all the exercises we do. We take advantage of this first week to test and evaluate them. They have an individual program. As for Victor Osimhen, he will return around June 24 or 25,” he said.
Osimhen ended the 2019-2020 campaign as Lille’s top scorer in all competitions with 18 goals to his name in 38 games.
Osimhen last summer joined Lille in a €12m move from Sporting Charleroi in a five-year contract at the club until 2024.
“It’s a privilege to have signed for such a good club and I look forward to working hard towards being a contributor to the team. Lille is a very good club that leads a quality project and includes high class players.
“Great Nigerian players have also played here and I would like follow their footsteps. I think that this project suits me perfectly to continue to progress,” Osimhen had said then.
With Osimhen set to leave Lille in the summer transfer window, the French Ligue 1 club are looking at signing another prolific Nigerian striker as his replacement.
Italian transfer market website Calciomercato says Lille see Partizan Belgrade frontman Umar Sadiq as an ideal replacement for Osimhen.
The former Nigeria U23 international has been a hit since joining the Serbian giants last summer, initially on loan, before the move was made permanent in January 2020.
He is Nigeria’s top goal contributor in the whole of Europe this season, with a hand in 33 goals -17 goals, 16 assists, in 38 games across all competitions.
Valued at 15 million euros by Partizan Belgrade, Sadiq was recently scouted by representatives of German, English, Turkish, Russian, Belgian and Italian clubs during last week’s derby against Red Star Belgrade.
The 23-year-old has played for big five European clubs in the past, namely Roma, Bologna and Torino.