Liverpool have reportedly emerged as the front-runners to land Napoli ace Gonzalo Higuain, who had a record-breaking 2015-016 Serie A season.
The source of this sensational Higuain to Liverpool story is beIN sports, who claimed that the Reds are very close to signing the prolific striker this summer (via Football Italia). Other major media outlets since then have been trying to test the veracity of the claims, but none have reported anything concrete on the story. England’s Metro even claimed that Higuain’s agent and brother Nicolas Higuain was spotted with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
The possibility of a move
This will come as ominous news for Napoli fans, particularly after Napoli legend Jose Alberti claimed that the club would be powerless to stop Higuain should he decide to leave. “PSG and Manchester United have a lot of money and with the offers made by these teams we should make him a statue if he decides to stay in Naples,” he told Calciomercatoweb.
Higuain himself has refused to comment on the transfer market, giving nothing away regarding his future, but notably not confirming that he will stay with his current club. “I’m only thinking about the national team,” Higuain shrugged, speaking to Sky (via Football Italia). “We’ll talk after the Copa.”
De Laurentis: A tough customer
What makes Higuain such a lethal striker is not just his ability to score from inside the penalty area, but also to create something out of nothing from outside the box. His movement ahead of Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho would be a delight to see for Liverpool fans should the switch take place. At the moment, there seems to be very little other than speculation and wishful thinking to the claims, as none of the major Italian sources has revealed anything about an impending transfer.
The man who recently surpassed Milan’s goalscoring icon Gunnar Nordahl with 36 goals in Serie A would undoubtedly be an excellent addition to Liverpool. Not only did he break a goal-scoring record that was over 20 years old, but in doing so, has set a benchmark so high that it looks impossible to surpass in the next 20 years.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentis has discussed the possibility of Higuain’s departure in the past. He confirmed the reports of a €94m exit clause in Higuain’s contract, insisting that he knew how to value his players (via Football Italia).
De Laurentis drives a hard bargain and those who deal with him know this. AC Milan and Juventus have failed in their pursuit of Napoli’s sought-after commodity Marek Hamsik in the past. De Laurentis demanded and received a combined fee of €90m (€64m+€26m) for Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi when he sold them to PSG. As such, it will take a huge sum of money to sign Higuain, and €94m is not a fee Liverpool will pay to bring the Argentine to Anfield.