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Osimhen saved Lille from bankruptcy - Former President fights back over fraud allegations

June 23rd 2022, 4:44:36 pm

Gerard Lopez oversaw the €81m transfer of Osimhen to Napoli and claimed that Lille might have been thrown out of the Ligue 1 if not for the deal

Former Lille president Gerard Lopez and Victor Osimhen

Former LOSC Lille president Gerard Lopez has shot back over allegations that the €81m transfer of Victor Osimhen to Napoli was full of fraudulent activities.

Lopez argued that the fee Napoli paid for the Super Eagles striker helped save the club from going under due to financial difficulties caused by the Covid-19-induced break.

Osimhen completed a record-breaking €81m transfer from Lille to Napoli in the summer of 2020, becoming Napoli's most expensive signing of all-time.

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As investigations into the transfer reopened on Tuesday, security operatives under the authority of the Italian Guard of Finance raided the offices of Napoli and Lille and reportedly seized several documents.

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As reported by Italian news outlet napolicalciolive, Lopez argued that there were no wrongdoings in the deal that he oversaw while he was president of Lille.

Lopez specifically argued that the money received from the Osimhen deal saved the club while the players that were part of the exchange were worth their valuation.

Lopez said: "There were 40 million that the club had to cover for the Covid period. I can say that that transfer saved the club.

“To say that today the players obtained in exchange are not worth a nail does not interest me. There are many cases of players who are valued with high figures. I don’t care about that.”

The controversy surrounding Osimhen's transfer continues to linger as the Italian and French authorities look into a deal that reportedly cost €81m in 2020.

The latest round of investigation reportedly sprung up when the new management team at Lille alleged that the Ligue 1 club never got full value from the deal that saw their prized asset leave for the Italian club after just one season at Lille.

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Lille alleges that they only got €36m upfront from the deal despite being entitled to €50m upfront with another €10m said to be tied to performance-based add-ons from the deal.

The outstanding €21m is said to be the valuation of four Napoli players; goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and three youth team players Luigi Liguori, Claudio Manzi and Ciro Palmieri; that were supposed to move to Lille as part of the Osimhen deal.

However, none of the players is said to have joined the Ligue 1 club, instead moving to Serie C sides before seeing their contracts terminated the following year.

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