Nigeria and Villarreal CF winger, Samuel Chukwueze, may be joining French champions Lille during this summer transfer window after reports have emerged that Lille are in talks with the Yellow Submarines for Samu.
Lille are now the latest club to join the hot pursuit for the Diamond Football Academy products with La Liga champions Athletico De Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and some other European heavyweights battling each other for him.
Former Super Eagles midfielder, Ifeanyi Ekwueme during an interview with All Soccer Nigeria, revealed that the french side are actively interested in bringing the Ábíá born to France.
He said that the representative of the Diamond Football Academy product have spoken with the cheifs of Lille football club and they want to break their record transfer fee for Chukwueze.
“Chukwueze has so far done well for himself and he is open to new challenges provided the offer is right for him,” Ekwueme who is a close pal to Chukwueze’s mentor and CEO of Super Stars Football Academy, Uyo Hon Victor Apugo exclusively told Newstap at Sunfit Hotel, Festac Town, Lagos.
“Chukwueze hosted me in Umuahia about few weeks ago and to the best of my knowledge I know he is wanted by a lot of clubs in Europe.
“Though he is happy and satisfied with what he has so far achieved at Villarreal, he is hungry for more and would like to seek fresh challenges elsewhere.
“As a matter of fact, discussion is already in progress. If it goes according to plan be rest assured that he may be joining one of the clubs this summer and it could likely be Lille FC. They have been in the forefront to get him since the past few seasons.
“If what I gathered about the deal should be anything to go by, it will be an excellent signing for him.
“It’s unfortunate that the injury he sustained against Arsenal in the semi-final of the Europa Cup stopped him from featuring in the final.
“That not withstanding, his over all superb performance at the tournament as well as La Liga further helped to improve his market value in European football.”
The 22 year old has an existing contract with the 2021 Europa league winners until the year 2023 with his release clause pegged at 100 million euros.
With this release clause, it however remains unknown if the deal will go through due to Lille’s spending power and history.
Despite having spent a huge number of games on the sidelines, the 2015 FIFA Bronze Boy managed to score five goals and creating eight assists in all competitions for Villarreal.
The reigning Ligue 1 champions make a return to the champions league after a one year absence and could lead the front three of Lille alongside Jonathan Bamba and Burak Yilmaz.
If the deal goes through, Samu will be the fourth Super Eagles player to wear the red and blue shirt of Lille OSC as we’ve seen the likes of Vincent Enyeama, Peter Odewinge and Victor Osimhen do.