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Arsenal Handed Major Boost In Pursuit Of 29-Goal Striker
It appears Arsenal have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain with talkSPORT carrying quotes from the strikers agent confirming he’s rejected a contract offer from Napoli.
Arsene Wenger has been hotly tipped by the newspapers to bring in another top class striker before the window slams shut and while Karim Benzema has been the flavour of the month in recent weeks, Higuain has long been linked with a move to North London.
There has been constant speculation all summer that we’re tracking the Argentinean international with La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting back in June that we had held formal talks over a potential deal.
Former Napoli player Jose Alberti was then quoted in Italian media outlet Calcio Napoli 24 as saying that he was “90% sure” Higuain would join Arsenal this summer.
The main problem has always been the purchase price as Napoli have been demanding the full value of his £66m buy-out clause, but that could now change after the striker turned down their offer of a new deal.
According to the 27-year-old’s agent, and brother, Nicolas Higuain, the striker has rejected a new one-year extension. He’s quoted by talkSPORT as saying:
“We had a meeting with the President [Aurelio De Laurentiis] in Venice 10 days ago,”
“We talked about everything. He offered a one-year contract extension, however, in my opinion – and in our opinion – we’ll continue with the original contract, expiring in 2018.
“I don’t think we’ll accept the president’s offer, because the contract isn’t that different to the one we signed before, so for us it’s not a real offer.
“We’re calm and happy to continue with the current conditions.
“At the moment, we have faith, Gonzalo will stay at Napoli, in a team which is 100 per cent focused and can win something.
“It seems strange, but the big clubs have not contacted me, nor have I spoken with anyone.”
Now I realise the agent says that Higuain is likely to stay at Napoli this summer, but that’s only due to the fact no big clubs have given him a better offer. The striker is clearly keeping his options open.
With no Champions League football to look forward to this season, I’m sure Higuain would be open to leaving if a club like Arsenal were able to agree a deal with Napoli.
I’d still prefer we signed Benzema but if Real Madrid refuse to do business, I’d be more than happy if we turned to the Argentine as an alternative.
He’s a born goalscorer and has virtually a 1-in-2 record throughout his career. 29 goals in 56 games last season was an excellent return when you consider Napoli had a disappointing domestic campaign.
We could certainly do with a poacher like Higuain in the squad, but it remains to be seen whether Wenger will make a formal move or throw everything at trying to sign Benzema.
I have a feeling we will make a real play to sign the Frenchman but if it doesn’t come off, hopefully we still have time to resurrect a deal for Higuain as we need to sign a top class striker this summer.