The most expensive Nigerian footballer Victor Osimhen confirmed that he had several enormous regarding personal salary offers from Saudi Arabia, but he rejected them all.
In a recent episode of The Obi One Podcast with former Chelsea FC star John Obi Mikel, the Nigerian Superstar shed light on his decision to reject a substantial transfer offers from Saudi Arabia this summer. The 24-year-old striker, who played a pivotal role in SSC Napoli’s Serie A triumph last season, has been on the radar of top clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester United.
While Al-Hilal emerged as the primary contender for Osimhen’s signature, dangling a staggering €137 million transfer fee along with an increasingly lucrative personal terms package, the player opted to stay in Europe. Osimhen confirmed the rumors, stating, “What was said was true; I had talks. In August, that week was a huge one, a huge decision for me to take, but I actually put it in God’s hands.”
The Nigerian forward revealed that despite his initial refusals, the Saudi club persisted, continually sweetening the deal. “The more I said no to these people [in Saudi Arabia], the more they increased it and increased it. It was literally like, ‘Wow,’ seeing these things,” Osimhen explained.
He further emphasized his desire to stay in Europe, saying, “I told them, ‘I like these people, I want to stay, I don’t think I want to leave for now.’ They understand where I’m coming from, but they never gave up until their own transfer window [closed].”
Addressing the complexity of the decision, Osimhen stated, “I said to them even before we played the first game of the season, ‘It’s done.’ I really didn’t want to go back thinking, of course, it’s a huge one, an amazing one that’s going to change my life, but, of course, I had to make the decision that’s good for my career too. As much as we play football for money, there’s more that comes with it.”
Osimhen now is the most expensive African footballer with the estimated market value at €120 million. Reportedly his salary in Naples is more than €5 million.
Despite ongoing interest from Chelsea, Osimhen refrained from expressing a preference for any Premier League club, keeping his potential move to England open-ended. The striker’s decision reflects a delicate balance between financial opportunities and career aspirations, underscoring the multifaceted considerations that players like Osimhen navigate in the competitive world of football transfers.