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Napoli star Osimhen signs new contract with reported €130M release clause

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Victor Osimhen on Saturday signed a contract extension with Napoli until 2026, ending months of speculation over whether he would commit to the ailing Italian champions with Premier League suitors circling.

Napoli announced the long-awaited deal with the simple social-media message "Victor and Napoli together until 2026", above pictures of the Nigeria striker putting pen to paper alongside club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Napoli have not revealed any details of the contract, but Italian media report that a release clause worth 130 million euros ($143 million) has been inserted to ensure the club do not lose their star player without cashing in.

The 24-year-old will also reportedly earn 10 million euros a year after tax.

Osimhen's previous deal would have expired in June 2025 and his renewal has been a subject of discussion in Italy since Napoli won their first league title in over three decades last season, under former coach Luciano Spalletti.

Osimhen scored 26 league goals as Napoli captivated Europe with thrilling football and were crowned champions for the first time since Diego Maradona was with the club.

In total, Osimhen, who was named African player of the year earlier this month, has scored 67 times in 118 Napoli appearances since signing from Lille in 2020 for an initial 70 million euros.

This season has been a difficult one for Osimhen, with a hamstring injury keeping him out of action for a chunk of the campaign and internal rows threatening to spoil what had been an idyllic relationship with the city of Naples.

Troubled season

In September, his agent Roberto Calenda threatened Napoli with legal action after the club's social media team posted a video on TikTok appearing to mock Osimhen for missing a penalty at Bologna.

Another video comparing him to a coconut, sparked accusations of racism against Napoli and their supporters, which Osimhen moved to play down.

Those claims stung a fan base which has little history of racist acts and is a frequent target of abuse from other areas of Italy, in particular the wealthier north.

Those incidents have further complicated a troubled season with Napoli's defence already title is effectively over.

Managerial upheaval after the departure of Spalletti has compromised Osimhen and Napoli's season, with Walter Mazzarri trying to undo the damage done during Rudi Garcia's short reigning in charge.

Osimhen has signed the new deal shortly before he is due to set off for the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts in Ivory Coast on January 13.

He missed the 2022 edition in Cameroon after suffering a fractured skull and eye socket during a match at Inter Milan and then contracting Covid-19. In his absence, Nigeria were knocked out in the last 16 by Tunisia.

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