Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain has rejected a contract extension offered by Napoli according to his agent and brother Nicolas.
The 27-year-old has attracted the interest of Manchester United and Arsenal FC over the summer and this development will potentially alert the Premier League duo. The striker was close to signing for Arsenal FC in 2013, before Napoli came with an enormous offer to blow the Gunners out of the competition.
The Serie A club were keen to extend Higuain’s contract, which expires in 2018, to fend off reported interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Aurelio De Laurentiis did not make us a real offer – Higuain’s agent Nicolas
Speaking in an interview, his agent, Nicolas, who also happens to be his brother, was quoted by The Guardian as saying:
a We had a meeting with the president [Aurelio De Laurentiis] in Venice 10 days ago.
a We talked about everything. He offered a one-year contract extension, however, in my opinion a and in our opinion a wea ll continue with the original contract, expiring in 2018.
a I dona t think wea ll accept the presidenta s offer, because the contract isna t that different from the one we signed before, so for us ita s not a real offer.a
Higuain looking for Champions League football?
Napoli missed out on Champions League qualification due to a 5th placed finish last season in the Serie A and Higuain is thought to be considering a move away from Naples in search of Champions League football. The 27-year-old was Napoli’s top-scorer last season, with 29 goals under his belt.
The striker has, however, been criticized recently for his form and especially for missing the opportunity to win the Copa America for his country, where he spurned a chance to win the tournament for Argentina with the last kick of the ball in regulation time. He later missed his penalty in the shoot-out as Argentina lost 4-1 to Chile.
Both Arsenal FC and Manchester United are reportedly looking to sign a marquee forward in their quest to challenge for the league title with Higuain said to be one of the few forwards they consider to be an upgrade on the personnel already in their ranks. However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has slapped an obscene A?66.8 million price tag on the striker, which is also the striker’s release clause, making a Premier League move unlikely this summer.