Chelsea transfer news: Blues big contenders to beat Manchester United with Victor Osimhen

The 24-year-old is aware of the interest from the Blues, who consider him a prime target in pursuit of a new physical attacker.

They believe the Nigeria international, who has scored 25 goals in 29 games this season, would allow them to compete with the firepower of Manchester City’s goalscoring machine Erling Haaland.

Chelsea’s need is driven by a dismal season for goal. They have scored just 29 Premier League goals, more than just seven clubs in the division who are all in a relegation battle. Kai Havertz is the club’s top scorer with nine goals in 36 games in all competitions.

Manchester United are also interested in Osimhen. They probed Osimhen at Lille before he joined Napoli, but are also keen on Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who has just 16 months left on his current contract.

Chelsea’s next no9? The Blues are very interested in signing Napoli striker Victor Osimhen

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Chelsea may have a slight emotional advantage in that Osimhen grew up idolizing Blues legend Didier Drogba and was pictured wearing the club’s shirt while growing up in Lagos.

The biggest challenge for both clubs will be dealing with Napoli, who are notoriously difficult negotiators and are believed to be asking for a fee of between €100m (£88m) and €150m (£132m). Napoli’s model is based on selling at least one star per season.

Osimhen could stretch Chelsea’s finances after them announced a loss of £121 million this weekwhich they attributed last season to government sanctions against previous owner Roman Abramovich.

They are on UEFA’s financial watchlist but insist they continue to follow the rules and will not be deterred from entering the market for a striker, defensive midfielder and goalkeeper.

However, West London sources admit that player sales will be key to the summer business. Boss Graham Potter has a bloated team of 32 men and his group needs to be reduced to a more manageable size for next season.

Mason Mount will be sold if he does not renew his contract. He still has 16 months to go, but talks have not been successful so far, while Mateo Kovacic, who has left his deal at the same time, no negotiations started.

Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi could be sold, while Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Romelu Lukaku are expected to be available.