Juventus Transfer Rumours: Gonzalo Higuain approach rebuffed by Napoli, asked to pay full clause
Juventus fans will have been keenly waiting for today, a day that their club would ask Napoli for their star player directly for the first time. The Serie A winners did go ahead and put in an official request for Napoli’s Argentine striker according to Sky Italia but Napoli were very direct in their reply that they would not negotiate with the Bianconeri.
Juve had an offer ready for Napoli that included Simone Zaza, Daniele Rugani and Stefano Sturaro in a package that they though would tempt the club in significantly reducing Higuain’s price tag but Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli’s owner is determined to do his best to avoid strengthening his main rivals for the Scudetto.
It is also unclear how this is impacting Juventus midfielder Roberto Pereyra who was believed to be on the verge of sealing a €18 million transfer to Napoli before his current club started circling for Higuain.
It’s possible that Pereyra’s move to the Partenopei will get scuppered as a result of De Laurentiis trying his best to make sure Juve don’t find the funds to activate Higuain’s mammoth release clause, but with the list of suitors Pereyra has, one would imagine Juve wouldn’t have too much of a problem finding another club to sell him to.
It’s shaping up to a be an immense showdown between the two best teams of the last Serie A season. Juve are determined to make a serious attempt at winning the Champions League, a competition they have coveted for several years, and they believe Higuain would be a crucial piece of the jigsaw puzzle that would help them attain the ultimate success.
The Italian champions already had a fantastic transfer window and the signature of the player who scored 36 goals in 35 League appearances last term would make them a frightening prospect in Europe. The fact that they could potentially be willing to activate Higuain’s release clause by paying an astonishing amount of €94 million (£78.5 million) shows the level of their ambition and financial power.
Crucially, their economic situation would even allow them to go for this deal without selling either one of Paul Pogba or Leonardo Bonucci. Whether Marotta and Paratici, the men in charge of Juve’s transfer market decide that Higuain is worth that valuation is another matter and one the whole of Italy, and even world football is waiting to find out.
It’s also reported that should De Laurentiis be unable to convince Higuain to stay, he will be willing to negotiate with Arsenal for a lower fee in order to see Juventus missing out on his signature.