Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United have been dealt with a huge blow in their pursuit of Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, who is not for sale according to club president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
The Argentine striker was close to signing for Arsenal FC, 2 years ago, when his move to North London from Real Madrid was hijacked by Napoli. However, the 27-year-old has been constantly linked with a move to the English Premier League, with Arsenal FC . , Liverpool FC and Manchester United all said to be interested in the former River Plate man.
The 27-year-old had a forgettable Copa America finals against Chile, failing to score in an empty net from 2 yards out, with the last kick of the ball in regulation time. He then missed from the spot, hitting a pathetic penalty way over the bar. Nonetheless, Higuain was said to be looking to move to English shores, in search of Champions League football, after Napoli failed to qualify for the elite competition.
No chance that Higuain will leave
The loqacious Aurelio De Laurentiis, in an interview with Italian TV station, Mediaset said–
“There is absolutely no chance that Higuain will leave,”
“Gonzalo is a Napoli player.”
“I have made his (release) clause clear in order to stop the constant speculation that appears in the press.
“There is a precise clause.”
“Higuain played in the Copa America; he has the right to a certain number of days off,” De Laurentiis said.
Higuain has three-years left on his Stadio San Paolo contract, after having signed for A?28.2 million in 2013, and has a release clause of A?66.8 million in his contract, which Napoli have maintained would need to be activated by whoever is willing to sign the player.
The former Real Madrid striker has seen a dip in fortunes since his move to Italy, having scored only 29 goals in 56 appearances last season, and is expected to join new coach Maurizio Sarri next week, as the club work towards achieving their minimum target of a Champions League qualification next term.
Higuain is too nervous – Maurizio Sarri
According to new Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri, the Argentina striker could do better with a smile on the pitch, as the 27-year-old has looked nervous on the pitch lately, which has had it’s negative impacts on the striker’s body language and confidence.
a The important thing is for him to be ready, he had a long season. He must rest, both physically and mentally, and not have fatigue from last year.
a I really want to talk to him to understand him as a person, because there arena t many doubts about him as a player.
a Higuain can improve, lately when Ia ve seen him hea s looked too nervous, if he played with a smile he could do more.
a He has to go out there and have fun. Whoever smiles and has fun on the pitch always wins in the long run.a
De Laurentiis is a cunning businessman
The outspoken President has a gifted business acumen and knows how to extract the maximum that he can from a player, both on the pitch and off it. His continued insistence on club’s matching the A?66.8 million release clause of the 27-year-old is further proof of the same. While it does mean, that he is willing to let the Argentinian go, but not before his asking price is met.
In an earlier interview, he had said, that only a ‘mad man’ would pay the obscene price of Higuain to take the striker away from Stadio San Paolo. However, going by his stance in the sale of Urugyuan striker Edinson Cavani, a bid upwards of A?55 million may be sufficient to convince the Italian to sell his prized asset. Whether Higuain is worth all that money, that’s another topic all together.