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JUST IN: Napoli announce Osimhen signing

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Victor Osimhen

Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen has reacted to his switch to Serie A side Napoli from Ligue 1 campaigners Lille in a deal reportedly valued at €50 million (£45m/$59m).

The Nigerian international, who netted 18 times in 38 appearances for the Ligue 1 side in the 2019-20 season, took to his official Twitter handle on Friday, July 31, to confirm the juicy move with a short statement.

“Can’t wait to put on this iconic jersey,thank you for the warm welcome @sscnapoli 🔵⚪️ #forzanapolisempre pic.twitter.com/LrwrBkdkoL

— victor osimhen (@victorosimhen9) July 31, 2020″

“Can’t wait to put on this iconic jersey, thank you for the warm welcome,” Osimhen tweeted.

Meanwhile, former club Lille took to the social media to wish Osimhen well in his adventure with Napoli, they twitted:

“We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to @victorosimhen9 and wish this Super Eagle Flag of Nigeria the very best of #LOSC luck in his new adventure with @en_sscnapoli.”

“We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to @victorosimhen9 and wish this Super Eagle 🇳🇬 the very best of #LOSC luck in his new adventure with @en_sscnapoli. Get ready, #SerieA 💥 pic.twitter.com/8xFDQnjGyI

— LOSC Lille EN (@LOSC_EN) July 31, 2020″

Interestingly, Osimhen had been repeatedly linked with several top European clubs after his impressive goal scoring season, including Arsenal and Liverpool, however he will appear in Serie A during the 2020-21 campaign.

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The 10-cap international – who has scored four goals for Nigeria – first moved to Europe in 2017 with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, before moving to Charleroi in Belgium, initially on loan and then in a permanent transfer.

Osimhen hugely impressed in Belgium with 36 goals in 37 appearances, earning him a €14m (£12.5m/$16.5m) move to Ligue 1, where his impressive scoring form continued.

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President of Nigerian football, Amaju Pinnick believes the 21-year-old, Osimhen is capable of making a similar impact at Napoli as Diego Maradona once did.

“I think Victor Osimhen is an excellent signing for Napoli. I’ve followed them from when they had Maradona. Naples is a proud city and also in football terms.

“Osimhen’ is a source of pride for African football. He’s someone who is disciplined but focused on objectives, and if he wants something, he knows how to get it. He made the right decision for his career. I already believe he’ll receive the right support from the club and its fans,” Pinnick was quoted as saying to Radio Kiss Kiss last week.” 

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Gattuso speaks on Pirlo’s Juventus appointment, says he’s screwed

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Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo is “screwed now” after being handed the Juventus job, according to former team-mate Gennaro Gattuso.

The legendary midfielder appointed as Under-23s manager last week but on Saturday found himself fast-tracked into the top job following Maurizio Sarri’s sacking.

Sarri lasted just one year with Juventus, paying the price for their shock Champions League exit to Lyon, with Pirlo penning a two-year deal to succeed him.

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Gattuso, now manager at Napoli, said of his former Italy and AC Milan team-mate:

“Well he’s screwed now. That’s the job.

“He’s lucky to be starting at Juventus, but this profession is one where a great playing career is not enough. You have to study, to work hard, and you don’t get much sleep.”

He added:

“Being a player and being a coach is really not the same thing at all. It’s a totally different profession and we can’t learn it just from books, we need to get in there and work hard. It’s a different world.”

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Bale must leave on loan – Former Real Madrid President

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Gareth Bale must look for a solution away from Real Madrid, insists former president Ramon Calderon, who believes a loan move is the best option to part with such “agony”.

“It’s very sad. It’s a pity to see a player like him in the stands… his skill and talent has not gone, he’s still a good player who could be playing at a high level in any team,” Calderon told the BBC.

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“I think they’ll have to find a solution to end this agony for the sake of both sides. If he doesn’t want to reduce his salary, which would be understandable, they’ll have to find another way.

“The coach does not rely on him. If Zidane stays with Real, which I think is certain, then he (Bale) will have to find a new way… It wouldn’t surprise me if they let him go on loan and pay part of the salary.”

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Juventus name Pirlo to replace Sarri

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PIRLO

41-year-old Andrea Pirlo has taken charge at his former side despite never having managed at any level previously.

Goal can confirm that Juventus have named Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach, just hours after sacking Maurizio Sarri.

Pirlo was only named the club’s Under-23 head coach last month but has secured a major promotion before even taking charge of one match with the Serie C outfit.

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It will be a major challenge for the 41-year-old, who has never managed before, either at youth or senior level.

Pirlo returns to Juve having starred for the club between 2011 and 2015.

The midfielder helped lead the Bianconeri to four straight Serie A titles, as well as the final of the 2014–15 Champions League.

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