Napoli under investigation over Osimhen transfer

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According to prosecutors, Napoli is being looked at for possible false accounting in the transfer agreement that brought Nigerian player Victor Osimhen to the Serie A team.

Italian finance police examined Naples’ Castel Volturno and Rome offices, according to prosecutors in Naples, to gather information about Osimhen’s 2020 move from Lille, which is expected to cost €70 million ($73.9 million).

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They also stated that the searches were conducted in response to demands from French and Italian judicial authorities, with a search also taking place in Lille just last month.

Club owner Aurelio de Laurentiis is reportedly also being investigated, according to Italian media.

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Investigators from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) were looking into allegedly inflated transfer valuations intended to artificially bolster clubs’ balance sheets when they came across Osimhen’s transfer as one of dozens of dubious transactions.

The transaction was notable because Lille received four players, who were worth slightly over 20 million euros, as part of the agreement.

Three of them are now playing in lower leagues in Italy but have never played for the French club.

After being sold for four million euros, one of the latter trio, Luigi Liguori, claimed in December to have “never gone to Lille” — not even to sign the deal.

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The defendants successfully argued there was no objective way to gauge a player’s worth after prosecutors had based their own valuations on data from popular website Transfermarkt.

The FIGC’s own tribunal cleared 61 people of any wrongdoing in April, including a number of Juventus directors. De Laurentiis was one of them.

Prosecutors had relied their own evaluations on information from well-known website Transfermarkt while the defendants successfully contended that there was no objective way to determine a player’s worth.

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