New Napoli manager Rudi Garcia has openly acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead if they have to find a suitable replacement for Nigerian sensation Victor Osimhen, should he depart during the summer transfer window, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

With only a month remaining before the start of the Serie A season, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has yet to reach an agreement with Osimhen’s representatives regarding a contract extension. It is believed that when Osimhen returns to training on July 19, the matter will be revisited in person, with Garcia present, in an attempt to persuade the 24-year-old to commit his future to the club.

Garcia was quoted by La Repubblica as saying, “Replacing Osimhen would not be an easy task. His presence provides us with greater certainty and serenity as we aim to defend our title.”

According to Italian publications, La Gazzetta dello Sport and Il Corriere dello Sport, the French coach has already conveyed to De Laurentiis that he is not keen on selling Osimhen or his strike partner, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, during the summer transfer window.

Given Osimhen’s remarkable performance last season, it comes as no surprise that both Napoli fans and the coach fervently hope that the Nigeria international will remain at the club for the upcoming season.

Osimhen’s impressive tally of 31-goal contributions (26 goals and five assists) from 32 league appearances played a pivotal role in Napoli clinching the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years. Additionally, he became the first African to claim the prestigious Capocannoniere award, given to the top scorer in Serie A.

The striker also shattered a 14-year record by becoming the first player since Zlatan Ibrahimovic to secure both the Scudetto and the Capocannoniere same season.

Unsurprisingly, Osimhen’s exceptional performances have attracted interests from several top clubs in Europe, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid. However, it is worth noting that the forward’s contract with Napoli runs until 2025.

Sources suggest that Napoli would demand a fee of €150-160m for the services of the Nigeria international and will persist in their efforts to extend his contract. La Repubblica reports that any offer for Osimhen will only be entertained by the Italian champions within the next two weeks.

Football Italia reported on Monday that De Laurentiis had insisted that Osimhen won’t leave Napoli unless there is a ‘more than indecent offer’ during the presentation of their new kit for the 2023/24 season, the first to have the Scudetto symbol on it in 33 years.

“Osimhen will absolutely wear this new jersey. If a more than indecent offer were to come in, then we’d get over it and would be able to find other talents. Don’t worry, here there is the Azzurri passion that enflames our hearts,” Laurentiis said.

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