Newcastle United

Newcastle: £130m-rated “beast” would be PIF’s biggest statement so far

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If Newcastle United can secure the signing of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, it would represent the biggest statement PIF have made since taking ownership in October 2021.

What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Victor Osimhen?

According to Italian journalist Luca Cerchione speaking to Gol Del Napoli, the Magpies will join Chelsea and Bayern Munich in the race for the Napoli marksman whose future will be decided in June.

Cerchione suggests in the piece that Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis will not accept less than €150m (£132) which would more than double the club record £60m spent on Swedish forward Alexander Isak last summer.

Why would signing Osimhen be such a statement signing for Newcastle?

Napoli's Victor Osimhen reacts

Since they arrived at Newcastle, the Saudi-backed PIF have resisted the temptation of spending their billions on big-name signings, opting instead for more sensible buys like Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope and Dan Burn.

Even when they have spent larger sums, like for Isak, Bruno Guimaraes and Sven Botman, it has been on players with the potential to grow with the club rather than ready-made superstars.

Doubling their transfer record on Osimhen would constitute a deviation from this strategy, and be a statement move for Europe’s most in-demand striker.

The Nigerian has been on fire this season, being described by former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves as the “perfect centre-forward” (via Manchester Evening News) on BT Sport after he scored twice in a 3-0 Champions League round of 16 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as a “beast” (via Football Transfers) after he added another in the return leg.

The 23-year-old leads the scoring charts in Serie A with 21 goals in 23 matches – along with five assists – as well as registering four times in five Champions League matches.

For PIF to bring the £112k-per-week man to St James’ Park, they would be conceding that now is the time to really start ploughing in huge sums of money to the project, and to start competing with Europe’s elite teams for signings.

Whereas for most of the signings made so far the move to Newcastle constituted a step up, Osimhen has already become the most expensive African player of all time – and Napoli’s record arrival – when he made the €81m (£72m) move from Nice.

He would also arrive as a Serie A winner with the Neapolitans 16 points clear at the top of the table with nine games to play, and possibly a Champions League winner with Napoli’s quarter-final AC Milan hanging in the balance after a 1-0 first-leg defeat in the San Siro last night.

It would be looked back on as the moment Newcastle took a seat at the top table, and would be the biggest statement of intent since their arrival in the northeast.

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