Lille star Victor Osimhen and two other Super Eagles players Paul Onuachu and Imoh Ezekiel are stranded in the country at the moment, following the closure of the Nigerian airspace, GIST OF THE DAY has learnt.
Osimhen, who buried his father on June 23 in Lagos, has not been granted approval by the Federal Ministry of Aviation to travel back to his base in France as the Nigerian airspace remains closed due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Lille are prepared to send a private jet to bring back Osimhen to France in time for Les Dogues’ pre-season training.
Speaking to reporters at Friday’s press conference, Lille manager, Christophe Galtier, voiced his frustrations at the club’s inability to have their striker back.
“No, he (Osimhen) did not come back from Nigeria. He was to arrive on Friday (yesterday). But he was blocked by the health crisis because the borders are closed.”
Osimhen is expected to fly out to France next week, along with his national teammates Onuachu and Ezekiel, who arrived Lagos with him aboard a private aircraft last month.
Belgian side Genk have started preparation for the new season with Onuachu conspicuously missing.
“Genk were prepared to send a private aircraft to pick him (Onuachu) back to base but the plane will pick players from Abidjan before the flight stops over in Lagos for Onuachu,” GIST OF THE DAY learnt.
Osimhen was voted Lille’s Player of The Season by the French Ligue 1 club following his exploits in his debut season.
He scored 18 goals with six assists in 31 appearances before Ligue 1 was called off due to COVID-19.
The 21-year-old, who has been linked with several top European clubs, has four years left on his Lille contract, and the club will be forced to cash in if he continues to attract mammoth offers from teams.