Gonzalo Higuain has completed his move from Napoli to Serie A champions Juventus. The Bianconeri met the Argentine striker’s mammoth €90 million release clause to complete one of the most stunning moves of this transfer window, making him the third most expensive player of all time, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. El Pipita will reportedly earn a staggering €10 million salary annualy, having signed a contract until 2020.
The official Serie A website was the first to confirm the news, with the Italian press also breaking the news beforehand. Napoli and Juventus have also tweeted confirmation:
Here is Juventus’ statement :
Juventus Football Club can today confirm that it has purchased the registration rights of Gonzalo Higuain for €90 million, payable in two financial years.
The player has agreed a five-year contract with the club.
El Pipita’s pedigree is without doubt – the former Real Madrid striker scored a stunning 36 goals in the league for Napoli last season, equalling an 87-year-old Capocannonieri record in the notoriously defensive Serie A. Doubts remain about Higuain due to high-profile misses for Argentina in the World Cup and Copa America finals, but fans of the Old Lady of Turin will surely view this signing with glee.
Signing Higuain from rivals Napoli for a club record fee represents a signal of Juventus’ ambitions – the Bianconeri are ready to begin their assualt on the UEFA Champions League and cement themselves as one of the biggest clubs in world football, a far cry from the relegated side that licked its wounds after the Calciopoli scandal.
Higuain has burned bridges with Napoli fans
Following reports of the Argentine striker undergoing a medical for Juventus, Napoli fans responded with outrage, as they burnt effigies of the striker and his Napoli jersey in the Naples city centre, with the ultras particularly vociferous in their protests, dubbing their former idol Judain.
Controversial Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis made his feelings clear, saying “I have not spoken with Higuain these past days, but if he goes to Juventus, he would be betraying himself. One doesn't approach one of the ends of the San Paolo stadium, where the team's colours are represented, to sing the 'Song of the Lover' (Napoli's club anthem) and later goes to their historical rivals. It would be a paradox because Juventus and Napoli are like a dog and a cat.”
Napoli legend Diego Maradona also voiced his hurt at Higuain signing for Juventus, saying “This Higuain affair is hurting me because he is going to a direct rival like Juventus.” Conversely legendary Italian and former Juventus striker Paolo Rossi expressed his admiration for the move, saying “Higuain is a great player who guarantees an important step up in quality for Juve. Now they can really go on to win the Champions League.”
“Dybala is extraordinary and can play alongside anyone, so I’m sure he’ll form a crazy partnership with Higuain. They can become one of the best strike partnerships in Bianconeri history.”