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Osimhen’s deal not concluded yet, says Napoli director

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Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli insists there is no agreement yet for Victor Osimhen, but admits the club is interested in the Lille striker.

Several reports claim Napoli are on the verge of completing the signing of the Nigerian striker on a five-year contract with an option of a year from the Ligue 1 club for €60m, which could rise to €81m after a number of performance-related add-ons.

But Giuntoli says there is more work to be done before the Nigeria international can be confirmed a Napoli player.

“We need to reach an agreement with the new agent. he (Osimhen) is a lad we are interested in and we’ll see but negotiations are not as far forward as everyone thinks,” Giuntoli told DAZN.

The 21-year-old scored 18 goals in 32 games for Lille last season.

Should the deal be completed, it will be the most expensive signing in the history of the club and the highest transfer deal of the summer so far.

Napoli are seventh in Serie A and will take on Inter and Lazio in their last matches of the season before they turn their attention to their Champions League tie against Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Osimhen is currently holidaying in Paris along with his close friend and Super Eagles teammate Samuel Chukwueze.

He and Chukwueze won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile five years ago and both players have since become the cynosure of all eyes in Europe.

 

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Mourinho challenges Alli to earn his place at Spurs

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Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho expects Dele Alli still to be at the Premier League club when the transfer window shuts next month, confirming he is in the squad for this week’s Europa League fixture.

The England midfielder, who has been left out of the past two games, has been linked with a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain in recent days.

But he will travel to North Macedonia for the Europa League third-round qualifying clash against Shkendija on Thursday.

After being subbed at half-time during the opening game of the season against Everton, Alli was not in the squad for the matches against Lokomotiv Plovdiv or Southampton.

But he had been due to start against Leyton Orient in the League Cup on Tuesday before the match was called off following a coronavirus outbreak at the League Two club.

Speaking about Alli’s inclusion in the squad for the Shkendija trip, Mourinho said: “I always told that he will have his opportunities. I always told that it is no problem at all to have him and, like every other player, performances are important.

“He is coming, he has a chance to play and it will be important to play, it will be important for him to perform.”

Alli’s place in the Spurs team has been put under even more threat by the arrival of Gareth Bale on loan from Real Madrid for the rest of the season potentially to form an exciting front three alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

Kane and Son combined for all five of Tottenham’s goals in a 5-2 win at Southampton, to bounce back from a 1-0 home defeat to Everton.

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Lampard urges Hudson-Odoi to seize his chance at Chelsea

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Frank Lampard has challenged Callum Hudson-Odoi to prove his worth for Chelsea when he gets a rare first-team start in Wednesday’s League Cup clash against Barnsley.

The Blues boss has confirmed the England winger will make just his second start since February 1 in the match at Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old shot to prominence with both Chelsea and England after making his debut for the club in 2018, but a ruptured Achilles tendon last year slowed his progress.

Hudson-Odoi has long since shaken off that issue but continues to battle for regular football and Lampard said it “remains to be seen” whether he could be loaned out before the transfer window closes on October 5.

The Chelsea boss said the winger must seize his opportunities while other players were unavailable.

“At the moment we have Christian Pulisic injured, Hakim Ziyech injured. We played Timo Werner out wide against Liverpool,” he said. “But the absolute natural winger who is fit at the minute is Callum.

“He has to show in every minute, on and off the ball, what he can do for the team and that’s the position Callum is in at the minute.

“He’s had an early breakthrough in his career because of his talent, he’s had an injury and now I want to see him flourish again.”

Bayern Munich are reportedly keen to sign Hudson-Odoi on loan and Lampard, who has been busy in the transfer market, has not ruled out departures.

Centre-back Toni Rudiger was omitted from Chelsea’s squad for Sunday’s 2-0 league loss to Liverpool.

Asked if Rudiger or Hudson-Odoi could leave, even on loan, in the current transfer window, Lampard said: “I’m going to skirt around that question; it remains to be seen.”

“My priority will always be making sure I maintain and keep the strongest squad I can for this club but after that of course, the individual conversations will happen within that,” he added.

“I will try and make sure I go into the season, once the window shuts, with the squad that I feel is healthy and competitive in a healthy way.”

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Max Aarons agrees personal terms with Barcelona

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Norwich City defender, Max Aarons, has agreed on personal terms with Barcelona.

According to Diario Sport, Aarons will sign a five-year deal with Barcelona, having expressed his desire to leave Norwich.

Barcelona will now have to reach an agreement with Norwich for the transfer of Aarons’s signature.

The Blaugrana are looking for a replacement for defender Nelson Semedo, who is on his way to join Premier League side, Wolves with Moussa Wague having left the La Liga giants for PAOK.

Norwich are expected to demand a compulsory purchase option from Barca which is said to be an initial £20m plus a further £10m in add-ons.

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