On Monday, Inter Milan finally managed to make (another) formal approach for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain and…well it didn’t go too well.
After the mayhem of the weekend, which saw Higuain’s agent – his brother – claim that the striker wasn’t happy at the Serie A outfit due to them going back on some aspects of their agreement, Napoli claiming that they wouldn’t sell to Juve and Juve failing to deny interest, the two clubs met up for a little pow-wow.
Unfortunately for Juve (and pretty much everyone), Napoli are simply not willing to budget on Higuain’s £79m (the -£1m makes all the difference) price tag and won’t entertain negotiations with the fellow Italian team. No player + cash deal, no reductions, no wriggle room. This is something that Juve can’t afford.
Napoli president De Laurentiis: "I asked Marotta (Juventus) if he wants to pay Higuain release clause [€94m], he replied I don't think so."
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 18, 2016
In fact, Napoli president, De Laurentiis, seems eager for the whole saga to stop and even appeared to claim there was never any contact made about a deal for Higuain in the first place. His tone even seems a little irritated, to me.
“There has never been contact between Juventus and Napoli,” De Laurentiis claimed when leaving the Lega Serie A meeting.
“The Bianconeri never had any intention of paying the release clause, nor have we asked them to.
“I asked Marotta: ‘can you really pay the clause?’ and he told me they never had any intention of doing so. There’s a contract of five years and we’ve only had three, the ignorance in the world of football is total.
“There’s a release clause, according to which if someone says ‘we’ll pay it’, Higuain can accept the offer from any club and Napoli will only accept those offers. No club has offered it so far and Higuain hasn’t said anything.
“This whole world of stupid things to sell your newspapers is bad for the fans, you should apologise. There are desperate people, but I’m not selling anything.
“Whoever wants him can pay the clause. Juventus never had any intention of doing so. I don’t know if something will change but [Juve general managerGiuseppe] Marotta is smart and knows perfectly well they can’t do this great wrong and that it’s a losing battle.
“Gonzalo is on holiday, he’s due here on July 25 and I haven’t heard from him yet. I’m convinced that Juventus are a club with class and won’t interfere with that, or they’d become a very unpleasant club.”
This is completely the opposite to some reports, claiming that Juve are ready to make their move. Of course, I’m sure now that the club as spoken, we can probably assume they won’t.
What does this mean for Arsenal?
Well it seems we don’t have any competition at present and, as Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli pointed out, Napoli would much rather sell the prolific striker to another League than their rivals.
Of course, there’s the issue of the asking price which, after the conversion rate, would set us back a sizable chunk of our transfer budget. Would it be worth it?
Biggest issue with any Higuain deal for Arsenal is current exchange rate
Release-clause is €94m
Last July that equalled £65m
Now – £79m
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) July 18, 2016
For everything surrounding Higuain’s potential, improbable move to Arsenal, simply click here.