Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has admitted that he cannot stop Victor Osimhen from leaving the club this summer because of a release clause. The star striker has been linked with a move away from the reigning Serie A champions for months now. The Nigeria international did quiet some of these rumors when he signed a contract extension in December.

In the deal, Napoli essentially extended Osimhen’s stay in Italy an additional year. His contract now does not expire with the club until the summer of 2026. Along with the extension, Osimhen also has a new release clause as well. Although exact figures have not yet been revealed, this stipulation is thought to be in the $130-$140 million range.

Napoli president says club is financially stable and does not need to sell stars

De Laurentiis made the comments during an appearance at the Financial Times‘ Business of Football Summit in London. Speaking with Sky Sports, the Napoli exec both confirmed the release clause and made the admission about Osimhen’s uncertain future.

“Victor is another good player that Napoli have,” stated De Laurentiis. “We had (Edinson) Cavani, (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Ezequiel) Lavezzi and we had (Dries) Mertens, we had a lot of people who were fantastic.”

“Osimhen is a very great player – but you know: Napoli is a fantastic place. There are certain players who fell in love with Napoli and stayed, like (Marek) Hamsik for 11 years. Or like others for eight years.”

“And there are others who are attracted by Real Madrid, by PSG, by Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea. So, you cannot stop them, especially when they have a fixed amount of money where they can be bought.”

The executive avoided revealing the release clause price but did claim that it was “a very big amount of money” for a player. De Laurentiis also asserted that Napoli is in a solid financial spot and does not necessarily need to sell their star.

“The money is the last problem for Napoli,” continued the club’s president. “We always made very good acquisitions as we did in the past. We will do [so] in the future.”

“The problem is just sentimental problems. When you see a player leave, it’s like a son. You are also happy if this son has a fantastic success everywhere else.”

Multiple top teams already linked with move for a striker

With Kylian Mbappe’s future sorted, Osimhen could very well be the top center-forward target in the summer transfer window. Although Napoli is experiencing a historically bad season, the striker is not exactly the problem. Osimhen has managed to score 11 goals in 15 top-flight matches with the Italian side. He has, however, missed several games throughout the current campaign. Lingering injury issues and the Africa Cup of Nations have made the 2023/24 campaign a stop-start affair.

Arsenal will want the Nigerian striker in the offseason. The Gunners need a top center forward to complete their starting lineup. Nevertheless, Mikel Arteta’s club does have to be careful with their spending and may have to sell a few players to spend big come summer.

Chelsea and PSG are also in the mix for Osimhen. The Blues have spent a fortune in recent seasons, but are still struggling on the pitch. The Ligue 1 champs, on the other hand, could target the Napoli forward to replace Real-bound Mbappe. Assuming multiple teams trigger the aforementioned release clause, Osimhen would then control his destiny going forward.