Gonzalo Higuain has been offered a new deal from Napoli but plans to reject it, according to the player’s agent and brother, Nicolas Higuain. The news has, according to reports in England, cleared the way for Arsenal to sign the player, who came very close to joining the North London outfit two years ago.
One report in Italy claimed that the Gunners had already made a bid upwards of $60 million for the striker that was rejected by Napoli. And while Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentis has maintained that the former Real Madrid man is not currently for sale, he also admitted that if a club did come along that was willing to pay his $100 million release clause, Higuain would be allowed to leave.
Higuain’s current contract, which he signed when he joined Napoli from Real Madrid two years ago, runs until 2018. But after finishing third in the Argentine’s first season, the club fell to fifth place last season. Napoli’s subsequent failure to qualify for the Champions League has further fueled speculation that the 27-year-old will seek a move away from Naples this summer.
Higuain came close to joining Arsenal before moving to Italian football two years ago. Although of late, the Gunners have been continually linked with a move for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. But new Madrid boss Rafa Benetiz has dug in his heels and insists the French striker is staying put. So it’s feasible that the timing of Higuain’s contract rebellion could inspire Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to reignite his interest in the striker.
Since joining the Serie A outfit in 2013, Higuain has scored 53 goals in 102 matches, and could be regarded as an upgrade to Arsenal’s current roster of strikers, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, and Danny Welbeck.
Although if Arsenal are to lure Higuain away from the San Paolo, they may have to see off reported interest from the likes of Man United and Chelsea.