Victor Osimhen: Barcelona wanted Nigerian youngster as replacement for Luis Suarez

Victor Osimhen: Barcelona wanted Nigerian youngster as replacement for Luis Suarez

- Victor Osimhen was on Barcelona's radar as a replacement for Luis Suarez

- The 21-year-old eventually joined Napoli on a five-year-old worth €80m from Lille

- Liverpool boss was also interested in the player but his heavy price tag put him off

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Nigerian star Victor Osimhen was reportedly on Barcelona's radar as long term replacement for aging Luis Suarez.

The 21-year-old eventually settled for a five-year deal worth around €80 million with Italian League giants Napoli from Lille.

His impressive performances in his debut season for Les Douges attracted the attention of a number of top European managers including that of Tottenham Hotspur's Jose Mourinho.

Meanwhile, one of Osimhen's management team Roberto Calenda confirmed that the Catalans wanted the Nigerian as their new point man before agreeing to join Napoli.

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The former Wolfsburg striker made an audacious impression in his debut for his new club after scoring three stunning goals in just eight minutes in their 11-0 win over L’Aquila in a test game.

Victor Osimhen: Barcelona wanted Nigerian youngster as replacement for Luis Suarez
Victor Osimhen making a scoring debut for Napoli in a friendly game - Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

"I usually never talk about these things, out of respect for professionalism and the club. It is right that Napoli say things as they went, they are the main players,” Calenda told Radio Marte.

I can say that it was a well-conducted negotiation by the parties, we started from a distance. The signing took place with constant communication and we were good at keeping track of it.

[It was a] difficult operation, Tottenham and Liverpool wanted Osimhen until the end, even Barcelona initially wanted him instead of Suarez. Napoli, however, did everything. They wanted him and took him." further reported that the Spanish League giants were not really interested but only keeping a tab on the prolific goals scorer.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was also said to have dumped his interest in the player over the huge price tag placed on him.

The Reds were earlier this year looking to improve their attacking option as back up for the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah but only brought in Takumi Minamino in January.

Meanwhile, Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has appealed to the club's fans to be patient with the most expensive African player - saying he is not a Maradona kind of signing.

And these same thoughts were reflected by Calenda: "The boy [Osimhen] is an exemplary professional, very serious and very serene.

"This is important when you get to teams where there have been players who have made football history,” he continued. earlier reported that Nigerian star Victor Osimhen grabbed his first hat-trick in the colours of Napoli in their 11-0 victory over L’Aquila in a friendly encounter.

The 21-year-old striker became Africa's most expensive player after joining the Italian League giants from Lille in a deal valued around €70 million.

And the Super Eagles star hit the ground running with three superb goals in just eight minutes, added with two other assists in the test game.

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