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Victor Osimhen’s muted celebration after ending his goal drought in Napoli’s 4-1 win against Udinese on Wednesday was a telling indicator of his soured relationship with the club. And Napoli manager Rudi Garcia has spoken out on the controversy that has shrouded Osimhen since the weekend’s draw at Bologna.
Osimhen netted the second strike as Napoli returned emphatically to winning ways in Serie A at the Diego Maradona Stadium.
The 24-year-old latched onto Matteo Politano’s through ball and produced a composed finish past Marco Silvestri, doubling the hosts’ lead after Piotr Zielinski’s opener.
But he refused to celebrate with the joyous home fans chanting his name just hours after deleting almost everything Napoli-related from his Instagram account.
It follows two TikTok videos posted onto the club’s official account – one mocking him for his penalty miss against Bologna at the weekend and another referring to him as a ‘coconut’.
Osimhen was replaced in the second half and shook Garcia’s hand in contrasting scenes from the weekend when he blasted his boss for withdrawing him during the 0-0 stalemate last time out.
After full-time, Garcia spoke out on Napoli’s controversial treatment of Osimhen online, admitting it didn’t help preparations for the Udinese win.
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He said: “We were frustrated after the draw vs Bologna, then some awkward things on social media didn’t help us in the last two days.
“I spoke to Victor. It’s key to have him focused on the game — he’s gonna do his best for Napoli.”
The first video on Napoli’s TikTok showed Osimhen appealing for a spot-kick with a bizarre sped-up voice, captioned ‘Gimme penalty please’, before he fired the effort wide.
Osimhen’s agent, Roberto Calenda, threatened legal action against the club over the since-deleted video.
“What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable,” Calenda tweeted.
“A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.
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“A serious fact that causes very serious damage to the player and adds to the treatment that the boy is suffering in the last period between media trials and fake news.
“We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor.”
Even more strangely, the second video compared Osimhen to a coconut, which has been widely viewed as a racial slur toward the Nigerian star.
The ordeal is far from settled and has left Osimhen’s future in Naples in serious doubt amid heavyweight interest across Europe.
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