Napoli insist they did not intend to offend Victor Osimhen after appearing to mock the striker in a video on TikTok.
The Italian champions posted a video on the social media site that made a joke about Osimhen missing a penalty in Sunday's 0-0 draw against Bologna, with an odd, sped-up voice dubbed over the top.
Osimhen's agent has threatened to take legal action against Napoli over the post, which has now been deleted.
Napoli stopped short of apologizing to the Nigerian international on Thursday as they addressed the matter.
"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 as 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's Napoli deal
Napoli boss Rudi Garcia insists Osimhen is committed to the club although reports suggest he could be considering his future. Osimhen has a deal at Napoli until 2025 and there is said to be interest from Saudi Arabia.
"I can assure you that Victor loves this jersey," Garcia said after Wednesday's win over Udinese, in which Osimhen scored but refused to celebrate. "He has invested 100 percent in our project.
"I have a very good relationship with Victor. I am happy for him because he scored tonight.
"Over the last two days, there was a bit of trouble with some clumsy behaviour. Nobody wanted to be hurtful, not the TikTok with the video of Victor, nor Victor by taking his photographs down on social media.
"Nobody intended to hurt anyone, these are instinctive reactions and are understandable. It is his social media account, he can do what he wants with it.
"After the match in Bologna, we were all frustrated, angry, Victor in particular, because he missed the penalty. On the sporting aspect and on other levels, especially on TikTok, there have been a lot of things to manage in recent days."
Roberto Calenda's statement
Osimhen's agent Roberto Calenda issued a statement on Tuesday night about the incident.
He wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: "What happened today on Napoli's official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable. A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.
"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."
Calenda added: "We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor".
A few hours after Calenda's comments, Osimhen removed almost all Napoli-related photos from his Instagram, including last season's Scudetto celebrations.