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Arsenal open talks with agent to sign record-breaking striker
According to a report in the Mirror, Arsenal have opened talks with the agent of Gonzalo Higuain to negotiate a big-money move from Napoli this summer.
Arsene Wenger needs to bring in another striker after missing out on Jamie Vardy and the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette have all been linked in recent weeks.
However, the Mirror are citing Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli – who works for Gazaette dello Sport – as claiming that Higuain is also on Arsene’s radar and we’ve now supposedly made contact with his agent and brother, Nicolas Higuain, to discuss a move.
Higuain is one of the most prolific strikers in Europe and lived up to that reputation after netting an incredible 36 goals in just 35 Serie A games last season – which set a new league record.
But his future in Italy is in doubt as his agent confirmed last week that the 28-year-old won’t be signing a new contract with Napoli and claimed there are only five clubs who could afford his £78.5m buyout clause.
Nicolas Higuain is quoted as saying by the Express:
“The President [Aurelio De Laurentiis] has the right to claim the money [€94m / £78.5m] from the clause, and we have the right not to renew,”
“In 2013 we decided to leave Real Madrid because we wanted a change of scenery. We arrived at Napoli with great enthusiasm, there was an ambitious project with Rafa Benitez at the helm,”
“There was talk of structural improvement and competing with Juve. In my opinion though, the project isn’t up to Gonzalo’s level.
“Napoli have given him a lot, and vice-versa, but the project is below expectations right now. It’s fine getting youngsters, but not to compete with Juve.
“Gonzalo will not renew, we’re confident of that given the situation of the project. We have a contract, and we’ll respect it, but we won’t change our opinion.
“There are signatures on contracts, so the club has the right to ask for the clause, just as we have the right to not renew.
“Who could he play for? Currently four or five teams. The great teams in Spain and England, one club in France [Paris Saint-Germain] and one in Germany [Bayern Munich]. Only they can afford him.”
I think the agent is trying to pressurise Napoli into lowering their asking price for Higuain as they know not many clubs will be prepared to pay close to £80m for him but his value will drop considerably next summer when he’ll only have 12 months left on his deal.
I’d absolutely love to see the Argentinean international come to Arsenal and the Mirror claim that Wenger is hoping to get a deal agreed over the coming weeks, but everything rests with Napoli.
If they refuse to accept anything less than his buyout fee then Higuain will stay in Italy and see out another year of his contract but if they agree to cash-in at around £50m, then I think we’ll be heavily interested.