If you think the coverage of the Gonzalo Higuain story is big in the UK media, you should see what’s going on in the Italian.

Quite possibly the biggest story in the country at the minute, there has been a surge in speculation, all fuelled by comments from both Napoli and Juventus. Arsenal and the Higuains have held their counsel.

So where does the whole thing stand? This is what we’ve been able to work out so far:

Gonzalo Higuain wants to leave Napoli. He feels like they have not fulfilled their promises to him, ones that they made when they signed him from under Arsenal’s noses. This, at least, is according to his brother who is also his agent. He also probably feels he can earn more money elsewhere on the back of an amazing season last campaign.

With a massive release clause in the region of €100m in his contract (which may or may not have expired at the end of June), Higuain was considering signing a new deal, but only if the release clause was lowered significantly. Napoli refused.

Earlier this week it was reported that he had agreed to join Juventus but this was quickly dismissed as a hoax. It also prompted Napoli’s president, Eduardo De Laurentiis, to state categorically, when confronted by a fan dismayed at the thought of the striker signing for their rivals, “Not Juventus, you must trust there is no truth to this story.

“We will never sell Pipita to Juventus, it’s all great nonsense.”

Not to be deterred, and perhaps feeling a little mischievous at the thought of the panic his club were causing the Napoli fanbase, Juve’s manager, Massimo Allegri, causally mentioned how great players are always welcome at his club when asked about the rumour.

This has all conspired to send the internet into hyperdrive with stories of how Napoli would sell to Arsenal just so they don’t have to sell to Juve, and the Napoli radio station, Kiss Kiss, even claimed:

both of those via:

The reports linking Olivier Giroud with the deal are also still floating around:

And while many in England might scoff at the idea of Napoli being happy with Giroud, former Napoli man, Salvatore Aronica, sees no problem with the deal and even says of the Frenchman “Giroud is a physical player, if he is not the ideal replacement [for Higuain], he would go very close.”

Strong praise indeed.

So are Arsenal even interested?

Well we know for sure that there is historic interest there, but that was when the player was a few years younger and a third of the price. It’s hard to ignore the season he had in Italy last summer – 36 goals in 35 league games – but the guts of €100m for a player who is 28-and-a-half?

It would certainly send a statement that would make football sit up and take notice, that’s for sure.

What is clear is that we probably won’t know anything more until Monday:

And even then, we can’t guarantee it will be anything worth knowing.

Higuain is currently on holiday in Argentina. He is expected back for pre-season training with Napoli on 25th July.