Mbappe to Real Madrid: PSG in ‘contact’ with ‘most prominent’ replacement amid Arsenal links

Jason Soutar
Victor Osimhen is a target for PSG to replace Kylian Mbappe
Victor Osimhen is a target for PSG to replace Kylian Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain will save €200million a year following the exit of Kylian Mbappe and are interested in reinvesting the funds in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, according to reports.

Mbappe confirmed last week that he would be leaving PSG at the end of the season, a decision he reportedly made last July.

We all knew that he would be off this summer but the confirmation was nice, with a move to Real Madrid expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

PSG will have a big void to fill following the France captain’s departure and there are a lot of names being linked with a move to the Ligue 1 champions.

In truth, Mbappe is irreplaceable and there are rumours that Luis Enrique will attempt to bring in two or three world-class players to try and fill that void.

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Liverpool’s Luis Diaz, Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia at Napoli, and Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior have all been mentioned as players Enrique is looking at.

Osimhen is expected to leave Napoli this summer amidst interest from Arsenal and Chelsea, and one or both of the Naples duo joining PSG could be a story to watch if a report from Italian outlet Gazzetta is to be believed.

Osimhen is PSG’s top choice to replace Mbappe – reports

According to the report, PSG’s ‘most prominent’ target is Osimhen, who was identified last summer after Mbappe told the club’s hierarchy he was leaving in 2024.

Given the spare funds the Parisiens will have from Mbappe’s departure, it is noted that paying the €130m that Napoli want ‘would not be a problem’.

‘Among the targets, the most prominent is Victor Osimhen. The Napoli striker had already been intercepted in Paris last August, when it was clear that Mbappe would not stay,’ it is claimed.

‘The Nigerian is one of the protégés of the sporting director Luis Campos who brought him to Lille in his time, before selling him to Napoli. The contacts were therefore never closed and Osimhen’s name was a name that resurfaced in February, when Mbappe formally communicated to the management the decision to leave Paris in June. A choice that would allow PSG to save no less than €200 million a year, to be reinvested in the market. A figure that could potentially double, if the emir decides to definitively erase the era of the great stars.

Thus, even the €130 million requested by De Laurentiis for the African would not be a problem.’

The report adds that the aforementioned Kvaraskhelia is another player PSG are looking at as Enrique potentially targets several top forwards to collectively take on the pressure of carrying the attack next season.

‘The novelty, on the other hand, is the other Neapolitan, Kvaraskhelia. A track openly evoked today by L’Equipe that could also be useful for an evolution of the tactical set-up,’ the report continues.

‘In fact, Luis Enrique would be studying a PSG without a reference striker, and the Georgian could contribute to the new game plan. Just like Bernardo Silva, another of Campos’ protégés from his time at Monaco, and approached with insistence last summer, without success.

‘And more than the Rossoneri’s Leao, PSG could repatriate Xavi Simons from Leipzig, without giving up on Swede Viktor Gyokeres, who dragged Sporting to the Portuguese title with 41 goals in 47 games. To bring him to Paris, you need to pay the €100 million clause.

‘In any case, to compensate for the void left by Mbappé, PSG would prefer to bet on two or three players with 20 goals in the Champions League rather than a striker with 50 goals per season, with the aim of trying again in the Champions League.’

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