Competition
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SERIE A

Higuaín "yes" to Juve: Napoli to listen to Old Lady's offer

AS understands that there has been contact between the Serie A clubs. The Argentinean is eager to discuss a move to Turin and has said "yes" to Juve.

El Pipita Higuaín puede ser uno de los fichajes del verano ante el interés de La Juventus o Arsenal que estarían dispuestos a pagar 60 millones e incluso subir a la cláusula de rescisión que tiene el argentino con el Nápoles.
CARLO HERMANN AFP

Monday July 18 could be a decisive day for the most important transfer in Italian football this summer: Napoli and Juventus are expected to meet after the Serie A general assembly to discuss the future of Gonzalo Higuaín. Italian media reports stating the prolific Argentinean will move to Turin have been rife in the past few days and AS understands there has been contact between the parties. Higuaín has reportedly said yes to Juventus.

Napoli not keen on selling to Juve

However, the tifosi partenopei are not amused at the prospect of losing their star striker to their most detested rivals. To see Maradona’s heir, who scored 36 Serie A goals last season, wearing the black and white stripes is inconceivable to Napoli fans and protests have been growing. Because of this, Napoli’s preference is to retain Higuaín or, if they must sell, to do so abroad. Arsenal reportedly offered 60 million euros plus Olivier Giroud, which did not excite Aurelio DeLaurentiis at all. Atlético matched that bid and threw in Matías Kranevitter as well, also to no avail.

The situation is complicated. Higuaín’s brother and agent, Nicolás, has been critical of the azzurro’s project and stated that Higuaín would not extend his contract beyond its current expiry date of 2018. That has not moved De Laurentiis, who is demanding that any suitors meet the striker’s minimum release clause of 94 million euros, a fee that many clubs think excessive for a player who is nearly 29.

Juve may meet clause

Juventus have been attempting to bring down Napoli’s asking price by offering various players in part-exchange (Roberto Pereyra, Simone Zaza and Rolando Mandragora, among others) but in Italy it is anticipated that if Napoli hold out for the full fee, Juventus will meet it and convert a nightmare into reality: Higuaín as a bianconeri.

Morata or Icardi

To replace Higuaín, Napoli have identified Álvaro Morata, although that deal seems out of reach, while the war of words between Mauro Icardi’s wife and agent, Wanda, and Inter Milan make a deal for the Argentinean more accessible, although it will not be cheap.

José Maria Callejón, who played alongside Higuaín at Real Madrid and now does so in the San Paolo, spoke on Saturday about his possible departure: “Our hope is that he stays here, we’ll see what happens.”