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?