Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis drew the ire of African players when he revealed that he won’t be signing players from the continent unless they agree to snub the Africa Cup of Nations.
“I told them, “lads, don’t talk to me about Africans anymore!”‘ said De Laurentiis during a streamed event. ‘I love them, but either they sign something confirming they’ll back out of playing the Africa Cup of Nations, or otherwise between that tournament, the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!
“We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others”, he concluded.
The comment means he won’t be entirely happy if star striker Victor Osimhen goes away to represent Nigeria at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which has been shifted to 2024. He will however not get his way if he stands against the will of the Nigerian forward if he is still at the club.
This much was made known to OwnGoalNigeria.com by the former agent of the Napoli forward, who said the president’s desire might appeal to other players but not Osimhen.
” The president knows he can’t try it with Osimhen. Even the last AFCON Osimhen wanted to go if not for Covid. He tells clubs he doesn’t joke with the national team of Nigeria and it will be war if he dare try to stop him from playing for Nigeria”, he told OwnGoalNigeria.com.
” I remember at Wolfsburg back then. He was slightly injured and got a call up. The club wanted him to shun it. He insisted on going, they had to send a medical report to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) before he agreed to snub the call up. His passion and dedication to Nigeria can’t be faulted and everyone around him knows it. So emotional about playing for Super Eagles”, he concluded.