Victor Osimhen ‘at the stage of signing contract’ – Aurelio De Laurentiis

Victor Osimhen’s suitors are running out of time to capture the Napoli hitman as president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed the Nigerian is close to agreeing a new contract.

Osimhen, 24, has lit up Serie A since arriving in Naples from Lille in July 2020, with his greatest achievement so far scoring 31 league goals as the Azzurri clinched a long-overdue Scudetto last season.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid are reportedly among the clubs keen to fire up their forward lines with the recruitment of Osimhen, who remains hot property despite enduring an injury-ravaged 2023-24 campaign so far.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen in action against Liverpool

While a future move to the Premier League or LaLiga is still entirely possible, De Laurentiis on Saturday revealed Osimhen is on the verge of agreeing a new deal at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

He told Gazzetta ahead of Sunday’s clash with Inter Milan: “With Osimhen we are at the stage of signing the contract, the one that has been left pending since last summer.”

Napoli’s other superstar is Kvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has made a huge impression since making his unheralded switch from Dinamo Batumi last year.

De Laurentiis is even less concerned about the Georgia winger departing Napoli, though, adding: “Kvaratskhelia still has a four-year contract, what’s the point of asking about him now? Let’s try not to be too negative.”

On the showdown with Inter, which continues a baptism of fire for new boss Walter Mazzarri, De Laurentiis said: “We don’t have a left-back. Two are out injured.

“Then we have a new coach, to whom we have given a huge responsibility, because he has had to immediately face Atalanta and Real Madrid. Now we have another tour de force as we play Inter and then Juventus.

“Are two days enough to prepare for Inter, without two full-backs? It seems a bit difficult to me. Then five days to prepare for Juventus… we have to lay all our problems out on the table so we can be objective about them.”

Alessandro Zanoli will face a late check before the match while left-backs Mario Rui and Mathias Olivera are out for three weeks and two months respectively. On Inter’s treatment table are defenders Benjamin Pavard and Alessandro Bastoni.