Premier League trio Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly among a number of clubs monitoring Victor Osimhen’s situation at Napoli after the striker was mocked by the Italian side on TikTok.
Earlier this week, Osimhen was the subject of two offensive TikTok videos posted on Napoli’s official account, one mocking the Nigerian for missing a penalty and another labelling him a ‘coconut’, viewed by many as a racial slur.
Osimhen’s agent Roberto Calenda has since hit out at the reigning Serie A champions and has threatened legal action, claiming that the videos, which have now been deleted, caused “very serious damage” to his client.
Napoli have responded with a statement which read: “Calcio Napoli, wishing to avoid any exploitation of the issue, point out that we never wanted to offend or mock Victor Osimhen, who is a treasure of this club.
“As proof of that, during the summer training retreat, the club firmly rebuffed every offer that was received for the striker’s transfer abroad.
Social media, in particular TikTok, has always used an expressive form of language with a light heart and creativity, without wanting to, as in the case with Osimhen as protagonist, have any intention of insult or derision.
“In any case, if Victor perceived any offence towards him, this was not what the club intended.”
Osimhen has deleted nearly all of his Napoli-related posts on Instagram, but he did start and score in Napoli’s 4-1 league win over Udinese on Wednesday, and manager Rudi Garcia has insisted that the 24-year-old is “invested 100% in our project”.
“I can assure you that Victor loves this jersey,” Garcia told reporters. “He is invested 100% in our project. I have a very good relationship with Victor.
“I am happy for him because he scored tonight. After the match in Bologna, we were all frustrated, angry, Victor in particular, because he missed the penalty.
“On the sporting aspect and on other levels, especially on TikTok, there have been a lot of things to manage in recent days.”
Despite this, Osimhen’s long-term future at Napoli is believed to be uncertain, and The Sun reports that Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all keeping tabs on the striker’s situation along with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
Saudi Arabian clubs have also been credited with an interest in the Nigerian, with Al-Hilal understood to have seen a bid in the region of £120m rejected by Napoli during the summer transfer window.
Osimhen, who is under contract in Naples until June 2025, has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in Europe since joining the Partenopei in July 2020, scoring 63 goals in 108 appearances for Napoli across all competitions.
The Lagos-born striker scored 26 goals in 32 Serie A appearances last season to win the Golden Boot, and he has since found the net four times in seven games this term.
It remains to be seen whether Osimhen will feature for Napoli in their top-flight fixture away against Lecce on Saturday.