Lille have already received multiple offers for striker Victor Osimhen this summer but it will take a fee close to the £72million Arsenal paid for Nicolas Pepe last summer to land him, insists owner Gerard Lopez.
The 21-year-old, who is described by club staff as the ‘Rubix’s cube’ of the side because he is so difficult to figure out on the pitch, has been the star performer for the club this season, netting 18 goals in his debut campaign in Ligue 1 after joining from Belgian Pro League side Sporting Charleroi.
With interest from Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal as well as teams in Spain and Italy, Lopez expects to be inundated with offers for his prized asset – but he will not be forced to cash in on a cut-price deal amid the coronavirus crisis.
There are multiple offers,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘We turned down one English and one Spanish offer this January transfer window.
‘There is a wide array (this summer) and I wouldn’t want to give the names of the clubs who are bidding but what I can tell you is that there are multiple (offers). There are three championships that have clubs that have bid for him.’
Osimhen joined the club for around £10m last summer and signed a five-year deal and the club are now looking at the possibility of making a huge profit 12 months on if he does leave for England, Spain or Italy.
I am not being a sales guy because last year people didn’t believe that we had the offers we had with [Nicolas] Pepe and it turns out we had multiple of them,’ he said.
Let me tell you with Osimhen, it is the same thing, whatever number you heard, the high number I have read is very much on the money of the offers that we have received. That’s where we are.’
Pepe was the major exit last summer joining Unai Emery’s Arsenal for a club-record fee— a move the Spanish boss recently revealed he was not behind – and that opened the spot for Osimhen to spearhead the attack.
His £72m sale to Arsenal was key in them raising £128m from player sales last summer. In the last three years, the club have made £219m from players, spending £149m on incomings.
Lopez revealed it is not just Osimhen that has clubs jockeying to earn his signature right now. The clubs production line, which has seen Eden Hazard, Yohan Cabaye, Franck Ribery and Divock Origi come through, is also demanding sizeable fees for players.
‘If we were to activate for every single player we have received an offer for, I am going through my mind right now, we would sell nine players out of the starting XI, a further six players that are usually non-starters and a further two players from the youth team,’ Lopez, who has spent the pandemic creating PPE kit StoBox, explained.
‘So, if I was to take offers from everyone else, I would be selling 17 players this summer. It would be absolutely nuts.’