Lille have been dealing with a widely-reported controversy since they sold the Nigerian attacker to Napoli two years ago, but both teams insist they did nothing wrong
Former Lille president Gerard Lopez has confessed that the French club was in big financial trouble before Victor Osimhen’s transfer fee rescued it from the deep.
Lille and Napoli have been under police investigations since the Ligue 1 side sanctioned the multimillion euros move that took Osimhen to the Italian Serie A.
It was the most expensive transfer in Lille’s history, making Osimhen the most expensive African footballer ever, taking over from Nicolas Pepe, who left for Arsenal the previous season.
But investigations have centred around claims that Lille only got €36m cash plus players with inflated transfer fees, and not €81m, as widely reported, all in a bid to balance the books by the club.
The Italian Football Association dragged Napoli to court regarding the issue, while Lille had their headquarters raided.
But former Lille president Gerard Lopez insists the club did its business within the legal framework.
Lopez revealed that Lille were in a bad financial condition after the Covid-19 situation in 2020 and the sale of Osimhen helped the French club avoid serious disaster.
“To say that today the players obtained in exchange are not worth a nail does not interest me,” Lopez told RMC Sport, as per Tutto Napoli.
“There were 40 million that the club had to cover for the Covid period. I can say that that transfer saved the club; there are many cases of players who are valued with high figures. I don’t care about that.”
In all of these, Osimhen has never been mentioned as having done anything wrong.
The Super Eagles star has gone about his business with unbridled commitment, firing in goals from all angles for club and country.
Osimhen recently became only the third Nigerian footballer in history to score four goals in a match as the Super Eagles thrashed Sao Tome and Principe in a record 10-0 win.