Lille president Gerard Lopez has vowed to keep Victor Osimhen at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy beyond this season despite burgeoning interest from top European clubs for the red-hot striker.
Premier League leaders Liverpool were strongly linked with the 21-year-old Super Eagles striker in January after it emerged that Jurgen Klopp has identified him as a long-term replacement for Roberto Firmino.
Reports suggest the German could sanction a 40m euro bid to bring the Nigerian to Anfield this summer.
Apart from interest from the Reds, the striker who has scored 18 goals in all competition for the French club has also been linked with moves to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Osimhen has been on the watchlist of every major European club following a barnstorming start to life in France after his €15m move from Belgian side, Sporting Charleroi, last summer.
The forward has 13 league goals for Lille which leaves him just four short of Victor Ikpeba’s goals record for a Nigerian in a single Ligue 1 season.
Lille president understands those elite numbers means the club’s resolve to keep the player will be tested this summer but has stated his preference that Osimhen stays in France for an additional season at least.
“Osimhen will be at Lille next season. Afterward, there are factors that I cannot control,” Lopez said in quotes reported by RTL and Mercato.
“I do not control the fact that a club arrives and offers a salary six or eight times higher than what we can offer. But I think sometimes it’s better not to take a big salary and wait until next season.”