The Arsenal transfer target Gonzalo Higuain is apparently set to return to Italy and join up with his team mates and the coaching staff of Napoli four days from now, after his involvement with the Argentina national team all the way to the final of the Copa America which they lost on penalties to the Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and his Chile side.
The president of Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has never been backwards about coming forwards and making bold statements about his club and their players and the ongoing transfer saga of Higuain is no different, and the president has been declaring his ultimate confidence that the striker will not be going anywhere unless a club activates the massive release clause of nearly 100 million euros.
Reading between the lines and using our experience of transfer deals of the past, it seems that his confidence might not be entirely correct. One telling thing for me was reported by ESPN yesterday, with De Laurentiis starting to talk about the player´s loyalty and suggesting that he would be betraying the Napoli fans if he left.
He also spoke about the rumours suggesting that it was the Italian champions Juventus and not Arsenal that was the most likely club to sign the Argentina international.
The Napoli supremo said, “Higuain will not go to Juve. In fact, it wouldn’t even be right for Higuain to go to any other Italian club.
“All this chit-chat is meaningless. Gonzalo has another two years on his contract and if nobody comes with an offer equal to his release clause then he’s staying at Napoli.
“There aren’t many clubs capable of paying that amount. Then we will have to see whether Higuain wants to betray this love that he seemed to have declared for the Neapolitans.
“At the moment, considering that he has not spoken and expressed his opinion, this situation that has been created is just a load of talk. Gonzalo will arrive in Dimaro [training camp] on July 25.”
If the only way that Napoli would sell was if the release clause was met then how could they have any say in which club it was? It sounds to me as though they are aware of Higuain’s willingness to leave, something that the Italian media are saying according to a Metro report, with the prolific forward said to be keen on either Arsenal or Juventus.
So is the president really hoping that it is Arsenal that offers enough money for them to agree a deal and that way he can appease the fans and not have to face Higuain in Serie A next season? There is one way for Arsene Wenger to find out, but will he do it? Perhaps Higuain will not be heading into Napoli on Monday after all….