Napoli is planning to stop Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen and other African players from playing at the 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon come January 2022.
Infoexpert24 reports that Napoli lawyers are studying the possibilities of exploiting loopholes to block several of their top African stars including Osimhen from featuring at next year’s AFCON.
Napoli has in their ranks three other Africans apart from Osimhen. Zambo Anguissa play for hosts Cameroon, while Kalidou Koulibaly play for Senegal and Adam Ounas, Ghoulam for Algeria.
The AFCON which was scheduled to hold in 2021 was shifted from January 9 to February 6, 2022, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to FIFA rules, clubs are obliged to release the players for a major tournament like the AFCON at least two weeks to kick-off.
That will mean Napoli could be without these players for as many as six weeks depending on how their various countries fare in the continental competition.
Meanwhile, Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has ruled out the sale of the red hot Super Eagles striker who is valued currently at €120m following his impressive scoring form.
The 22-year-old has made a blistering start to his second year at the club this season bagging six goals and an assist in his first six games so far.
According to Gazzetta Dello Sports, the Nigerian is been monitored by four top European clubs, Chelsea, Manchester United Manchester City, and PSG but De Laurentiis has hinted that it will take a mammoth offer to lure the former Lille striker away from the Partenopei next summer.
“Osimhen’s purchase was a real market hit for Napoli and a significant investment in the history of the club which could turn into a substantial capital gain,” De Laurentiis said.
“At the moment, it is good to clarify it immediately.
“There is no possibility that the Nigerian (Osimhen) can be sold, even if Chelsea, the two Manchester clubs, Real Madrid and PSG have started monitoring him.”
Osimhen will be aiming to make it seven goals in seven games when Napoli host Spartak Moscow in matchday two of the Europa League.
Infoexpert24 understands that Victor Osimhen has equaled the goalscoring record of Edinson Cavani and Dries Mertens who scored six goals in their first seven games for the club.