Roberto Calenda, a member of Victor Osimhen’s management team, has claimed prior to the Nigerian signing for Napoli, Barcelona were interested in bringing him in place of unsettled striker Luis Suarez.
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Suarez’s future at Camp Nou is currently up in the air as he is reportedly not keen to continue at the club and new Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman does not want him.
“I usually never talk about these things, out of respect for professionalism and the club. It is right that Napoli say things as they went, they are the main players,” Calenda told Radio Marte.
“[It was a] difficult operation, Tottenham and Liverpool wanted Osimhen until the end, even Barcelona initially wanted him instead of Suarez. Napoli, however, did everything. They wanted it and took it.”
However, Ghanabet understands Barcelona was only tracking the progress of Osimhen, and he was never a real target to make a bid.
From Liverpool, Goal understands Jurgen Klopp was not interested in Osimhen because of the high price of the Nigerian. Earlier this year, the Reds were looking to strengthen their options from the bench when the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were not available. Liverpool eventually brought in Takumi Minamino in January.
Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso had previously stated that Osimhen needs time to gel with his team as he is not a Maradona kind of signing and these same thoughts were reflected by Calenda.
“The coach’s [Gattuso] words are right: you have to wait and give him time because he comes from far away, he must adapt to our championship and our customs. But without a shadow of a doubt, he has great talent and I am sure he will prove it because he has some important characteristics.”