Transfer gossip: Napoli president opens Osimhen door for Liverpool; Tonali’s Saudi replacement

Editor F365
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen looks dejected during a match.
Victor Osimhen's Napoli contract expires in 2025.

Victor Osimhen’s “mood has changed” (we wonder why) as Napoli open the door to his January transfer, while Newcastle are considering a very grubby deal to replace Sando Tonali.

 

OSIMHEN ALERT
Liverpool are among the clubs keeping a keen eye on Victor Osimhen’s situation at Napoli. They sent scouts to watch him during the international break, and reportedly see the Nigerian as a possible replacement for Mohamed Salah.

Chelsea are also very much in the mix, for obvious reasons, while Arsenal have also been linked – though reports suggest they will have a modest transfer budget in January.

Top class strikers are hard to come by and having scored 31 goals in 39 games last season, Osimhen is evidently one of the best around.

His contract expires in 2025 and despite reports claiming a new deal had been agreed in principle with Napoli, Osimhen now has cold feet. The TikTok mockery almost certainly has something to do with that.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who loves the sound of his own voice, has now added fuel to the transfer fire.

He said: “I have never been unhappy towards Osimhen, but there are always two of us in these things.

“I have remained the same, if his mood has changed [over a new deal] I can’t do anything about it.”

 

A GRUBBY TONALI REPLACEMENT
It looks as though Sandro Tonali will be out for a while and the Newcastle bosses are reportedly putting their heads together in a bid to find a suitable replacement.

They were keen on Kalvin Phillips even before this betting scandal and that interest remains, as the Manchester City midfielder finally appears to have realised that he’s a footballer who’s not going to be playing football if he remains at the Etihad. Bayern Munich will reportedly challenge the Magpies for the England international.

But even with the potential addition of Phillips, Newcastle want another midfield body – possibly just a stopgap option as they wait out Tonali’s ban.

FootballTransfers claim PIF-owned Newcastle could do a grubby short-term deal to bring former Wolves star Ruben Neves from PIF-owned Al Hilal.

The Portugal international certainly has the quality to thrive back in the Premier League, and could possibly be an improvement on Tonali, who has struggled of late after a fast start, possibly due to these allegations weighing on him.

OPINION: Sandro Tonali betting scandal pushes boundaries of sympathy for him and Newcastle

 

TONEY TOP
Reports earlier this week claimed Mikel Arteta wanted Wolves star Pedro Neto over a striker in January, leading us to question whether the Arsenal boss really wants to put his trust in Eddie Nketiah for the third January in a row.

But Mirror claim he has actually made Ivan Toney – who is reportedly destined to leave Brentford in January at the end of his betting ban – his to target in January.

It’s claimed the Gunners have a modest budget, and it’s not clear whether that will stretch to the £60m the Bees want for their star man.