Chelsea Remove Lukaku as Bargaining Chip in Osimhen’s Deal

Chelsea have dropped the idea of offering Romelu Lukaku as a makeweight in a possible deal for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

The Blues are desperate to sign a top striker for next season and the Nigerian forward, Osimhen topped the list of likely big signings by the London side who aim to regain the club’s dwindling fortune.

But negotiations are not underway yet with Chelsea considering several striker options and assessing their summer budget.

The London club are believed to be mulling paying Osimhen 10 Million Pounds a year, which will be more than match what PSG plan to table before him.

Napoli inserted a release clause worth at least £100m into a new contract which Osimhen signed earlier this year and is still insisting it’s paid in full in order for a sale to occur this summer.

According, reports from Italy claimed Wednesday that Chelsea have offered Napoli the chance to acquire Lukaku, who they signed for £97.5m from Inter back in 2021, to try and bring that sum down, but 90min understands this has not been the case to date.

The interest in Lukaku stems from new Napoli Sporting Director, Giovanni Manna, who recently joined from Juventus. Manna tried to sign Lukaku for Juve last summer, leading to Inter backing out, and Lukaku actually ended up joining Roma.

Lukaku, for his part, would prefer to stay at Roma once his season-long loan expires at the end of the season, but has not shut the door on another Italian club and is reconsidering Saudi as an option as well.

Chelsea have a verbal clause in place allowing Lukaku to go to any club for £38million but the Giallorossi are expected to try and reach an agreement at a lower price.

Chelsea’s search for a striker is ongoing and they retain a strong interest in Benjamin Sesko, who could leave RB Leipzig this summer. Arsenal and Manchester United also have the Slovenian on their respective shortlists.

Despite a lowkey season, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Evan Ferguson is also under consideration at Chelsea, with several members of the club’s recruitment team fans of the 19-year-old.

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez is another historical target for Chelsea, but sources say he is unlikely to be on their list of options despite recent suggestions he could leave Anfield.

The Liverpool hierarchy view Nunez as an important part of their future in the post-Jurgen Klopp era and believe he is an highly under-appreciated player who brings a lot to the team outside of just his goals.

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