Though Osimhen has long been Chelsea’s main striker target, the Blues started looking at other players last summer when it seemed the Nigerian international would be signing a new deal in Naples.
The other players the Blues kept an eye on were Ivan Toney, Santiago Gimenez, and Lautaro Martinez.
Osimhen’s talks with Napoli have since become problematic, and insiders have informed The Ball Is Square that, despite his club’s best efforts, there is little possibility that he would consent to an extension.
Although TBIS knows that the Blues are prepared to test Napoli’s determination sooner with a January approach, a summer deal is still the most likely result. Osimhen, 24, is projected to cost more than the £115 million Chelsea spent to get Moises Caicedo from Brighton & Hove Albion this past summer, so the club is well aware that they may need to smash their transfer record to sign him.
Though Osimhen is nearing the last 18 months of his contract, Napoli may have to consider offers despite their strong desire to keep the striker. Osimhen is more likely to be allowed to leave Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in 2024.
The financial demands of Napoli will undoubtedly affect Chelsea’s next move, as the freely spending Blues could have to generate money through player sales before making any new acquisitions.
In addition to Ian Maatsen, Chelsea may part ways with the centre-back Trevoh Chalobah, who is open to moving on from his current contract, which is coming to an end and for which he has not yet signed an extension.