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Osimhen: Real Madrid eye Napoli striker as Mbappé alternative

La Gazzetta dello Sport says Real Madrid are one of a number of major European clubs tracking Napoli's Victor Osimhen, who has scored six in six so far this season.

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Osimhen: Real Madrid eye Napoli striker as Mbappé alternative
CIRO DE LUCA REUTERS

Real Madrid’s priority transfer target is Kylian Mbappé. The Paris Saint-Germain striker, who was the subject of unsuccessful Madrid bids in the summer, remains at the top of Los Blancos’ wish list and, if everything goes to plan, will arrive at the Bernabéu on a free transfer at the end of the season.

However, PSG are pushing hard to persuade the France striker to renew his contract, and will do so right to the last. Mindful of this, Madrid are working to line up alternatives if their pursuit of Mbappé doesn’t come to fruition.

Madrid among a host of European big guns eyeing Osimhen

One name on Madrid’s radar is Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, who has been one of Serie A’s best players so far this season. The Nigerian international has scored six goals and supplied one assist in six games in all competitions in 2021/22, figures that place him among the most effective strikers in Europe.

Indeed, he has registered the continent's joint-best goalscoring record in September, together with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. Napoli are delighted with Osimhen’s performances and certainly aren’t regretting the 70-million-euro fee they spent to sign the 22-year-old from Ligue 1 champions Lille in summer 2020.

However, the Partonepei may not get to enjoy his exploits for the club beyond this season, as Osimhen’s displays have sparked interest among a number of top European clubs, including Real Madrid. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, PSG and Madrid are all keeping tabs on the player.

PSG are eyeing Osimhen as a potential replacement for Mbappé, although AS understands that the French club’s priority would be to lure Erling Braut Haaland to the Parc des Princes.

Osimhen on his way to being new Lukaku, says Zola

Osimhen is shaping up to be one of the big names of the next summer transfer window. In Gazzetta, former Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola, who had a four-year spell at Napoli early in his career, has described the forward as the “heir to [Romelu] Lukaku”. “When he arrived in Italy two years ago, I didn’t know much about him and looked hard at him. What I found was a player with great movement. His physical strength makes him a devastating player,” Zola said.

Elsewhere in the Italian media, it is being reported that Napoli would be willing to sell Osimhen to strengthen the team in other areas, as long as they can get a price higher than the 70m they spent on him just over a year ago.