The Nigerian forward is on the verge of becoming the most expensive African player ever, but the switch to Italy may have been forced on him
Victor Osimhen’s former representative, Jean-Gérard Benoit Czajka, has revealed that the in-demand young striker was ultimately against joining a Serie A club – even if it was for champions Juventus – because of the ugly cases of discrimination against black players.
Racism is everywhere in football, but nowhere has it been more prevalent and in the public eye than in Italy.
Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, AC Milan’s Franck Kessie, Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Vieira, Brescia’s Mario Balotelli – despite being an Italian international – have all suffered racial abuse from opposing fans in the last 12 months only.
Osimhen may have kept up with this development in Italy, and he reportedly was set to shun offers from AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Napoli and other Italian clubs for a move to England where the issue is more contained.
Czajka, Osimhen’s agent until two weeks ago, while speaking to France Football, has hinted that the Lille star may have been cajoled into joining Napoli as he was not sold on the transfer from the onset.
“Yes, and to be honest, Victor did not want to go to Italy,” Czajka said.
“From the start, he has been stuck on the idea of playing in Serie A. He told me that racism issues scared him and that he didn’t feel it.
“He even told me in March-April: ‘I don’t want to go and play in Italy even if it’s for Juventus at €10 million (N5.3 billion) net per year’.”
A lot has changed, however, since Osimhen hired a new agent, William D’Avila, with the 21-year-old now on the brink of completing a transfer to Napoli for a fee of over 50 million euros and a salary of four million euros net per season.