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Napoli probed over suspected Osimhen transfer fraud

Napoli are being investigated for potential false accounting in the transfer deal which brought Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen to the Serie A club, prosecutors confirmed on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in Naples said in a statement that Italian finance police searched Napoli’s Castel Volturno and Rome offices to collect documents regarding Osimhen’s 70 million euros ($73.9 million) move from Lille in 2020.

They added that the searches come following requests from both Italian and French judicial authorities, with Lille having been also been the subject of a search in last month.

Italian media report that club owner Aurelio de Laurentiis was also under investigation.

Osimhen’s transfer was one of dozens of suspicious deals looks by Italian Football Federation (FIGC) investigators in a probe into allegedly inflated transfer values designed to artificially boost clubs’ balance sheets.

The deal stood out as it involved four players valued at just over 20 million euros moving to Lille as part of the deal. 

Three of them never played for the French club and are now in Italy’s lower divisions.

One of the latter trio, Luigi Liguori, told Italian daily La Repubblica in December that he “never went to Lille” — not even to sign the contract—after being sold for four millions euros.

Movie mogul De Laurentiis was one of 61 people, including a raft of Juventus directors, who were acquitted of any wrong doing by the FIGC’s own tribunal in April.

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.

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