Napoli said on Thursday they never intended to offend their striker Victor Osimhen with mocking social media videos, but the Serie A champions stopped short of apologising to the Nigeria international.
The Italian side posted a video on TikTok with a high pitched voice showing Osimhen missing a penalty in their 0-0 draw against Bologna on Sunday, which was later deleted.
Osimhen’s agent Roberto Calenda later threatened legal action, while the 24-year-old player removed all images of himself in a Napoli shirt from his social media accounts.
“To avoid any potential exploitation of the matter, Napoli would like to explicitly state that the club never intended to offend or make fun of Victor Osimhen, who is an asset to the club,” read a statement on the team’s official website.
“Over the course of the summer Napoli rejected all offers to sign the striker – firm proof of the club’s appreciation of him.
“On social media, and TikTok particularly, expressive language is used in a light-hearted and playful manner. In this case involving Victor there was no intention of mockery or derision.
“If Victor was in any way offended, this was not at all in the club’s intentions.”
Osimhen helped Napoli end their 33-year wait for a league title last season as he was Serie A’s top scorer with 26 goals.
Despite the row, he played and scored in Napoli’s 4-1 league win over Udinese on Wednesday to take his tally to four goals in seven games this season.
Champions Napoli are fifth in the league standings and will face Lecce on Saturday before hosting Real Madrid in the Champions League.