EPL

Osimhen suggests 'anything can happen' amid Arsenal transfer links

By Sports Desk June 15, 2022

Napoli star Victor Osimhen has left the door open for a move to Arsenal after declaring "anything can happen" amid continued transfer speculation.

Arsenal have reportedly had advances turned down for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus as Mikel Arteta looks to add firepower to his attack.

A talisman appears the main priority in the transfer window for Arsenal, with Alexandre Lacazette moving to Lyon and Eddie Nketiah yet to sign a new contract after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang previously joined Barcelona.

Osimhen has emerged as a target for the Premier League side, who have reportedly already had a sizeable bid turned down for the Nigeria international.

The Napoli striker would add a much-needed reference point for Arteta's side up top, with Osimhen scoring 14 times in 27 Serie A appearances for Luciano Spalletti's side last season.

His 14-goal tally was the 23-year-old's best in a single season in Europe's top-five leagues, surpassing the 13 Ligue 1 strikes he recorded in 2019-20 for Lille.

That also made Osimhen the first Nigerian to achieve double figures in two straight Serie A terms, while he became just the fourth African player to achieve the feat in the Italian top flight, after George Weah for Milan, Samuel Eto'o for Inter and Mohamed Salah for Roma.

Osimhen, speaking while away on international duty with the Super Eagles, is aware of the transfer reports and admitted he does not know where his future lies.

"I don't know my future, I know anything can happen, but now I just want to go on vacation with my family, clear my head and recharge my batteries. Then we'll take care of the rest," he told reporters.

"I know there are many rumours that they would like me in Spain or in England, but I don't think it's the right time to talk about it now that I'm with the national team."

Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League behind fierce rivals Tottenham, leaving Arteta's team playing Europa League football next season.

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    Nacho joined Madrid's youth academy in 2001 at 10 years old and is ending a 23-year association with his boyhood club.

    The defender made his debut in 2012, going on to make 364 appearances for the first team, winning 26 trophies, making him the joint-most decorated player in the team's history, along with Luka Modric.

    He captained Los Blancos to their 15th Champions League title in June, lifting the trophy for the sixth time himself. He also won five Club World Cups, four LaLiga titles and two Copa del Reys in his extensive haul.

    In a statement on social media, Nacho said: "Dear Madridistas. I want to dedicate a few words to you, which are too few to express everything I feel at this moment.

    "I am saying goodbye to the club of my life, Real Madrid. I arrived when I was 10 years old. I trained as a person and, as a player, I learned to win and to lose, to fight and to suffer, to enjoy, and to always live with enthusiasm and determination. I learned everything I am today. I have been coming to train in the same place every day for almost 25 years, which is an understatement, learning the values of Madridismo, giving my life and fighting for this crest: you have given me everything.

    "It's very difficult for me, but now it’s time to leave with the confidence and peace of mind of knowing that I have always given my best to represent this crest, on and off the pitch. When I was a boy, I often dreamed of playing in our stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, and today I have the honour of ending my time as the captain who managed to lift our 15th Champions League.

    "There are no words to express my feelings. I always wanted my end as a Real Madrid player to be beautiful and at the top, and I can tell you that it is impossible to have a better one than this."

    Nacho, who is currently representing Spain at Euro 2024, is expected to move to the Saudi Pro League when his contract runs out, with Al-Qadsiah the favourites to sign him.

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    La Roja topped Group B – thought by many to be the most difficult group at the tournament – with nine points and no goals conceded, beating Albania 1-0 in their third match on Monday despite resting most of their star players, courtesy of Ferran Torres' goal.

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    "We are all free to dream, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. Being considered favourites doesn't guarantee you anything," De la Fuente said.

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    Colombia sit top of Group D after the opening round of matches, with Crystal Palace duo Daniel Munoz and Jefferson Lerma netting in a 2-1 win in Houston and Brazil later failing to join them on three points as they drew 0-0 with Costa Rica.

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    Colombia go to Phoenix for their second match against Costa Rica on Friday, before taking on Brazil next Tuesday at San Francisco's Levi's Stadium. 

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