According to Sky Sport Italia, Victor Osimhen’s transfer from Lille to Napoli is being investigated, with both clubs’ offices inspected in Naples, Roma, and France.
Aurelio De Laurentiis, the president of Napoli, is being looked into for alleged transfer fraud.
Lille received merely €36 million, not the widely reported €81 million, according to French media site L’Equipe.
Osimhen, who replaced Nicolas Pepe, who moved for Arsenal the previous season, became the most expensive African football player ever thanks to the most costly transfer in Lille’s history.
Despite the excitement the transfer generated at the time, it has since come to light that Osimhen’s old team only received €36 million from his transfer.
The Super Eagles forward’s signing helped the Ligue 1 club balance its books at a time when it was in extremely bad financial shape.
The official €70 million transfer fee + €10 million in bonuses fee was only about €50 million in cash, which has long been the source of debate.
Goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and three players from the youth team—Luigi Liguori, Claudio Manzi, and Ciro Palmieri—made up the other €20 million.
Because Liguori, Manzi, and Palmieri received greatly inflated prices on the transfer market, their value instantly raised questions.
The three players’ lack of opportunity to play for Lille—they were promptly loaned to Serie C teams, and their contracts were simply and amicably canceled a year later—raised even more criticism.
The players complained to the media that the purchase had destroyed their careers and that they had been exploited as pawns in a wider arrangement that had been made to help Lille and Napoli both financially.