Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Napoli look to scupper Mauro Icardi deal
Mauro Icardi is a wanted man. After being linked with a move to Arsenal in recent times, the Inter skipper has now been rumoured to have come to the top of Napoli's shopping list as Aurelio De Laurentiis looks for a replacement for Gonzalo Higuain. Naples is set to lose another of her favourite son according to reports from Italy which states that it is all but inevitable that the Argentine will be donning the colours of Juventus next season.
According to reports from Italian media house Gazzetta World, a secret meeting took place on Sunday in Verona away from the prying eyes of the media between the Napoli chief and the Argentine’s representatives to seek out a deal for the in-demand forward. De Laurentiis, who is known to be a grafter looks to leave no stone unturned even if Higuain does eventually go South.
The side from Naples are said to have table €40 million initial bid which falls quite a way short of Inter's asking price for the striker. However, with Naples manager Maurizio Sarri a big fan of the 23-year-old, a deal might be struck if De Laurentiis agrees to include the €25 million-rated Manolo Gabbiadini in it.
Arsenal were rumoured to have had an eagle on the Icardi situation with many claiming the Gunners were ready to offer €50 million for his services. The Gunners have had another lean summer so far since the early announcement of Granit Xhaka’s capture. Since then, Arsene Wenger has seen Jamie Vardy turn down a move to The Emirates whilst another target, N’Golo Kante chose Chelsea.
Whilst Arsenal did complete the signing of Rob Holding, the Gunner faithful will be looking for a big-name signing as they look for another assault at the Premier League title which they last won in the 2003-04 season. The move for Icardi looked to have been the one to change the whole outlook on Arsenal’s summer. However, with Napoli’s late move this might turn into another dead end for the Gunners.
Meanwhile, Napoli are desperate to cover the huge 36-goal hole Higuain will leave behind and are reportedly looking extensively at various prospects to bring to Stadio San Paolo with the sale of the Argentine expected to fetch the North Italian side close to €90 million.
Napoli have already looked to bring in AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca, however, their proposed deal of €20 million plus Mirko Valdifiori for the Colombian was knocked back last week.