Napoli President Reveals How He Beat Arsenal To €38m Higuain

By on October 1, 2013

Napoli’s eccentric president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has revealed how he managed to beat Arsenal to the signing of Gonzalo Higuain in just 10 minutes.

The summer began with endless talk of Huguain moving to Arsenal with newspapers claiming the deal was just ’24 hours away’, a £25m fee was supposedly agreed, personal talks were completed, a medical was booked and he was even reported to be in London at one point.

We heard it all and it seemed only a matter of ‘when‘ not ‘if‘ the Argentinean would become a Gunner.  However, weeks went by with no conformation and it was claimed we were struggling to agree a fee with Real Madrid. The longer it went on, you just got the feeling we would miss out.

Then, in late July, out of nowhere Napoli entered the chase armed with the money generated from the sale of Edinson Cavani to PSG and Higuain was soon off to Naples to complete his move to Italy, as Arsenal switched their focus to trying to sign Luis Suarez – which ultimately ended in disaster.

Napoli’s president has now revealed exactly how quickly they managed to get the deal done, claiming a €38m plus add ons fee was agreed with Madrid within 10 minutes and the following day he met Higuain and his agents and within 8 hours everything had been signed.

‘We were in the mountains with the team and I asked my people, should we call Real Madrid? In 10 minutes it was done for €38m plus add-ons,’

‘The day after we went to Venice for eight hours closed in a room and did a deal [with Higuain]. It was easy. ‘I didn’t know Arsenal wanted him, as nobody told me. I’m sorry, Arsenal!’ (source: the Daily Mail)

Now THAT’S how to close out a deal.  While Napoli may not have known of Arsenal’s interest, Arsene Wenger admitted yesterday that Higuain was a target this summer, telling Arsenal.com:

“We were working on two or three targets and he [Higuain] was one of them,” Wenger said. “It didn’t come off in the end, that doesn’t take anything away from his quality.

“Napoli took advantage of that at the right moment, it’s more about timing as well.

Reading between the lines, we were trying to sign Higuain or Suarez, we decided to go all-out for Suarez and it backfired. It’s one of those things but I was gutted when we failed to sign Higuain. I never really though the Suarez deal was a goer, mainly because Liverpool were adamant they weren’t selling to us and Stan Kronke admitted last week he got the feeling they were never going to cave.

So it begs the question why did we let Higuain slip through our fingers?! Madrid were willing sellers and he wanted to come, so we should have just thrashed out a deal quickly, as Napoli did, and got him on board in July. Had we managed to sign him as well as Ozil, I’d seriously fancy us for the title this season. I just really hope we don’t regret missing out on him come the end of the season.

What did you think when we missed out on Higuain? Will we regret it?


  1. Dog breath

    October 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I agree with you that reading between the lines, we were going for both at the same time. However I don’t agree with your inference that we willfully let him slip through our fingers. It seems obvious to me that wenger and co truly believed that there was a release clause in the Suarez contract and while they were considering that option, Napoli came in an did the deal was done. It’s easy to be critical in hindsight and whilst i understand the frustration, we really need to keep it real. At the end of the day, it all worked out well in the end because I think Ozil’s overall impact on the club is far greater than higuan’s would have been. I doubt we could have got both!
    At the moment the evidence suggests we are not as desperate for another top striker right now as is being suggested. With the exception of the RVP year, our recent tradition has been to score a lot and from a number of different players. This year is no different. We’ve scored 12 by 6 players. It’s all good at the grove at the moment and time celebrate – not pick holes.

    Bring on Napoli ……..COYG

  2. Antony Joseph

    October 2, 2013 at 12:22 am

    And, Arsenal showed them how to win and close out a game.

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