Milik 'wants a change of scenery' as Napoli boss Gattuso addresses Osimhen rumours

By Sports Desk July 08, 2020

Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso admitted Arkadiusz Milik "wants a change of scenery" as the star forward eyes an exit.

Milik's current deal expires at the end of 2020-21 and the Poland international is no closer to signing an extension amid links to Serie A champions Juventus, LaLiga outfit Atletico Madrid and Premier League side Tottenham among others.

As speculation mounts over Milik – who has scored 37 league goals since arriving from Ajax in 2016 – Gattuso was asked about the 26-year-old following Wednesday's 2-1 win over Genoa.

"It's difficult to find someone better than Milik," Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia post-game.

"However, when a player believes his time at a club is over and he wants a change of scenery, you have to listen to him.

"You can't try to keep someone against their will, or it's difficult to get them to listen or have the right mentality. You have to respect the wishes of the player."

While Milik is nearing a departure, Napoli are reportedly trying to sign Lille star Victor Osimhen as his replacement.

Osimhen has been touted to join Napoli, with reports suggesting he has met with president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Gattuso.

The 21-year-old has flourished in Lille after arriving from Belgium's Sporting Charleroi at the start of the season, scoring 18 goals across all competitions.

On Osimhen, who has also been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, Gattuso said: "He's different, but I don't want to talk about that. If and when Osimhen joins, then I'll explain the changes."

Related items

  • Koulibaly tipped to stay at Napoli as nervous Gattuso waits for transfer window to close Koulibaly tipped to stay at Napoli as nervous Gattuso waits for transfer window to close

    Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli believes star defender Kalidou Koulibaly will remain at the Serie A club, despite links to Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

    Koulibaly had been strongly linked with Premier League giants City but Pep Guardiola's side agreed a deal to sign Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias on Sunday.

    Ligue 1 champions PSG are also reportedly interested following Thiago Silva's departure, while the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked previously.

    Asked about Koulibaly prior to Sunday's 6-0 demolition of Genoa, Giuntoli told Sky Sport Italia: "The team was completed in January with Stanislav Lobotka and Diego Demme, who can play in a few different roles. With Amir Rrahmani, [Victor] Osimhen and [Andrea] Petagna, we are complete, so will now try to release players who won't have much time on the pitch.

    "I think Koulibaly is staying, we are very happy and so is he. I believe that he is staying."

    Koulibaly helped keep a clean sheet as high-flying Napoli preserved their perfect start to the season against Genoa.

    Napoli are yet to concede in two Serie A fixtures this season, while scoring eight goals to top the standings.

    Gennaro Gattuso was also quizzed on Koulibaly following Giuntoli's comments and the Napoli head coach told Sky Sport Italia post-match: "I hope he remains with us, selfishly speaking, because he gives us so much both in technical terms and as a character.

    "The world has changed because of the pandemic and I realise all clubs need to balance the books. I hope the call won't arrive, but I'll be nervous about it until transfer deadline day."

    Senegal international Koulibaly has called Napoli home since arriving from Genk in 2014.

    The 29-year-old was instrumental as Napoli claimed the Coppa Italia title last season – the club's first piece of silverware since 2014.

  • Man City sign Ruben Dias as Otamendi joins Benfica Man City sign Ruben Dias as Otamendi joins Benfica

    Manchester City have signed centre-back Ruben Dias from Benfica in a transfer worth an initial £62million (€68m) with Nicolas Otamendi heading the opposite way in a separate deal.

    Portugal international Dias, 23, has been a regular for Primeira Liga side Benfica since emerging through the academy ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

    Dias has been linked with a number of big-name clubs around Europe, including Manchester United, but rivals City have now reached an agreement with Benfica.

    The Portuguese side confirmed the news on their official website on Sunday, shortly before announcing a €15m (£13.67m) deal is in place for Otamendi, who must now undergo a medical.

    City will pay an additional €3.6m (£2.1m) in add-ons for Dias should he trigger various performance-related clauses.

    Dias captained Benfica in Saturday's victory over Moreirense and hugged his team-mates and sporting director Rui Costa as he left the field at full-time.

    "It was a special moment [with Costa] and I think everyone already knows why," Dias said after the game. "Obviously, people leave their mark on you, and the club also.

    "Without a doubt, it was very special for me. I am very happy. It was very important to consecrate this game with a goal, it was very special for me."

    Dias' arrival ends City manager Pep Guardiola's search for a right-sided centre-back, 16 months after long-serving Vincent Kompany departed the Etihad Stadium for Anderlecht.

    Otamendi – who played for Benfica's Portuguese rivals Porto between 2010 and 2014 – spent five years with City and started 31 games in all competitions last term.

    The 32-year-old won two Premier League titles, four EFL Cup trophies, two Community Shields and the FA Cup during his time in Manchester, having arrived from Valencia in 2015.

  • Juventus are still 'under construction', says Pirlo after Roma draw Juventus are still 'under construction', says Pirlo after Roma draw

    Andrea Pirlo says he is not concerned by Juventus' lacklustre performance in their 2-2 draw with Roma on Sunday, insisting they are a team still "under construction". 

    The Serie A champions were far from their best in the capital and found themselves 2-1 down at half-time, Jordan Veretout scoring either side of a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty. 

    Juve midfielder Adrien Rabiot was dismissed shortly after the hour mark but Ronaldo salvaged a point for the Bianconeri with a towering header soon after. 

    Pirlo, who replaced the sacked Maurizio Sarri last month, pointed to a lack of match fitness as the reason for his side's sluggish performance and expects them to get significantly better as the season progresses. 

    "Roma attacked with many players like us so it was a different game than Sampdoria [who they 3-0 last weekend]," he said. 

    "This was a step backwards but we are a team under construction. We didn't have time to try any solutions in pre-season so these games are tests.

    "But, in the end, it was a point earned. [Alvaro] Morata only arrived two days ago, Arthur has not played for six months and has to adapt to Italian football. [Rodrigo] Bentancur is also starting to feel a bit better. The condition of these important players needs to grow a bit."

    Juve beat Inter to the title by just one point last season, with Antonio Conte's side responding by bringing in Achraf Hakimi, Arturo Vidal and Aleksandar Kolarov.

    Asked if Inter's squad is now stronger than his own, Pirlo said: "I don't know if it is better than ours, but it is certainly stronger than last season as they brought in players of quality. I think it'll be a battle to the very end."

    Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, meanwhile, was frustrated with his side's inability to kill off the game when they were 2-1 up, with reported Juve target Edin Dzeko guilty of a particularly glaring miss. 

    "I think we had a good game, but I am not satisfied with the result," he said. "We created chances and played to win the match.

    "I saw Dzeko focused, motivated and he worked hard for the team. There were errors in front of goal, as everyone did, but he played well this evening.

    "I felt the team was always comfortable, we didn't allow Juve any real chances and were solid defensively."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.