Gonzalo Higuain has refused to sign a contract extension with Napoli amidst interest from top Premier League teams, while Napoli captain Marek Hamsik is yet to commit his immediate future to the club.

After a sensational season at Napoli, Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with a move to a number of Europe’s top clubs. The striker managed to find the back of the net a staggering 38 times in only 42 appearances last season and his exploits haven’t gone unnoticed by Europe’s elite clubs, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all reported to be interested in the Argentine maverick.

According to a report in MARCA, Nicolas Higuain, Gonzalo’s brother, told Radio Continental, “Gonzalo won’t renew his contract with Napoli. They are currently asking for the payment of his release clause as a condition for his departure, but Gonzalo and I decided not to extend the deal.” Higuain has a reported €94 million release clause, which interested clubs will have to part with if they wish to take the 28-year-old away from the Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli's Argentinian-French forward Gonzalo Higuain (L) celebrates after scoring with midfielder Marek Hamsik during the Italian Serie A football match SSC Napoli vs Carpi FC on February 7, 2016 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples. / AFP / CARLO HERMANN (Photo credit should read CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)


Marek Hamsik refuses to rule out move

Since signing with the Partenopei 3 years ago, Higuain has taken the Serie A by storm, scoring 91 goals in 146 appearances. However, those figures would surely have been far lesser if it weren’t for the brilliance of captain Marek Hamsik. The midfielder has risen to legendary status at the Stadio San Paolo over the course of the 9 seasons he has spent with Napoli, since his €5.5 million switch from Brescia in 2007.

He was one of their first purchases after they got promoted in 2007. Since then, he helped them win 2 Coppa Italia titles and 1 Supercoppa Italiana. The Slovakian had constantly been linked with a move away from Napoli over the past few seasons but had rejected all advances, choosing to stay loyal to the Partenopei. After 403 appearances and 98 goals for Napoli, it seems that the Liverpool target may be reconsidering his options with 2 years left on his contract.

According to a report in Football-Italia, on being asked whether he would stay on at Napoli, he said, “We will see.” While talking to Sport, the 28-year-old said “Will I renew with Napoli or leave? We’ll see. Now I want to rest, first and foremost. It’s been a difficult year with a lot of games, I want to enjoy time with my family.”

Earlier, Hamsik’s agent Juraj Venglos told Slovakian outlet Pluska (via Football-Italia), “After the match with Russia, I had a number of phone calls. I won’t be specific at the moment though, Marek has a contract with Napoli. His value was already high, and it certainly won’t have gone down.”

On being asked if €35 million would be enough for Napoli to part with his client, he said “Could he leave for €35m? It could be that, it depends on the conditions of Napoli. It could be higher or it could be lower. Or in the end it might be irrelevant. Because he could stay at Napoli? Yes, anything is possible.”

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