Higuain has turned down new Napoli deal, confirms agent

The striker’s representative says he will honour his current terms – which expire in 2018 – for now, and revealed no other clubs have been in contact over a move

Gonzalo Higuain has rejected the offer of a new contract with Napoli, according to the striker’s agent.

The Argentina international, who moved to the San Paolo in 2013 from Real Madrid, still has three years to run on his current deal but has been linked with a potential summer transfer nonetheless.

Nicolas Higuain, his brother and representative, has now confirmed they have turned down a one-year extension to his contract, though he says there are no current plans to move away from Napoli.

“We had a meeting with the president [Aurelio De Laurentiis] in Venice 10 days ago,” he told Radio Crc.

“We talked about everything. He offered a one-year contract extension, but in my opinion – and ours – we will continue with the original contract, expiring in 2018.

“The contract isn’t that different to the one we signed before, so for us it’s not a real offer. We are calm and happy to continue with the current conditions.

“At the moment, we have faith that Gonzalo will stay at Napoli, with a team which is 100 per cent focused and can win something.

“It seems strange, but the big clubs have not contacted me, nor have I spoken with anyone.”

Higuain endured a disappointing summer as two crucial misses – one in the penalty shootout – cost Argentina in the final of the Copa America in Chile.

But his brother is confident the forward will be ready to challenge for honours in the coming campaign.

“Gonzalo arrived in Dimaro [for pre-season training] in good condition. He’s an introverted player, not some snake oil salesman who likes to show off. You won’t see him on Twitter taking pictures all day. I have heard he’s training well, and that’s what’s important.

“Everyone dreams of winning something important, but this year it will be even more difficult because of the way teams have strengthened.

“It will be a tough campaign, when the first ball is kicked we [Napoli] will try to show our worth.”

Napoli never considered selling Higuain – De Laurentiis

The club’s president insists they inserted a large release clause in the striker’s contract to ensure he remains at Stadio San Paolo and have no interest in selling him

Aurelio De Laurentiis has insisted Napoli have never considered selling Gonzalo Higuain despite reports linking him with a move away this summer.

Higuain has flourished at San Paolo since arriving from Real Madrid in 2013, scoring 53 goals in all competitions, leading to speculation that the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal want to sign him.

But Napoli president De Laurentiis has dismissed such claims, insisting it will take a significant fee to convince the club to let him go. 

“I never, ever considered selling Higuain,” he told  Corriere della Sera.

“It wasn’t by chance that I put a very high clause in his contract, which makes him difficult to afford for any potential buyer.

“I expect that he’s respectful of his commitment to Napoli and the work of the team.”

The 27-year-old Argentina international is tied to the Serie A side until June 2018.

Napoli angered by Higuain agent

The club posted several tweets in response to comments made by the striker’s representative

Napoli have blasted the agent of Gonzalo Higuain in a string of tweets on their official Twitter account.

The 27-year-old has been regularly linked with a move away from the Stadio San Paolo in recent months with his agent critical of president Aurelio De Laurentiis this week.

Nicolas Higuain, who is both the brother and representative of the striker – suggested the Napoli chief was continually talking about his release clause in a bid to sell him.

“I wonder why De Laurentiis keeps talking about the clause,” explained Nicolas.

However, Napoli responded with a string of tweets on Tuesday, stating: “On June 25 we announced that the release clause on Higuain’s contract was €94.736 million.

“Why did we do this? Because some important newspapers were writing that we were negotiating to sell Gonzalo for €50m.

“It is strange that some experienced journalists don’t understand such a simple concept and do not guide those who are perhaps distracted.”

I wish I could sell Higuain – De Laurentiis

The Napoli president joked with a fan that he would be able to buy eight new players for the transfer fee the club would receive for the Argentine

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has said he would like to sell Gonzalo Higuain, admitting he could buy eight players for the transfer fee the club would receive.

The Argentine striker has been linked with a move away from Stadio San Paolo after the club failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League. 

However, the club have insisted that they will not sell the striker for less than their €94 million release clause, although De Laurentiis suggested he could be persuaded into selling him.

“Sell Higuain for €90 million? I’d like to sell him,” he told a fan in a conversation that was recorded on their phone. 

“That way I can buy eight players for the club!”

The 27-year-old striker scored 18 goals in 37 Serie A appearances last season, with a further seven coming in the Europa League.

Betting Special: Will anyone pay the price on Higuain's head?

Although Napoli are determined not to sell their prize asset, a number of interested parties throughout Europe are monitoring his situation at the Stadio San Paolo

With Rafa Benitez gone to take over at Real Madrid and Napoli facing another season without Champions League football, star man Gonzalo Higuain could be forgiven for considering his options this summer.

However, club president Aurelio Laurentiis’ insistence that the club record signing will not leave unless a club meets his €100 million buy-out clause has dampened expectations of a transfer taking place, with Paddy Power offering odds of just 5/4 (2.25) on him remaining at the Stadio San Paolo come the closure of the window.

Nevertheless, in need of a striker after the departure of Radamel Falcao and with Robin Van Persie potentially on his way out, Manchester United at priced at a mere 7/4 (2.75) to unite the Argentina international with compatriots Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo at Old Trafford.

Having been strongly linked with the former Real Madrid man before he moved to Italy two years ago, Arsenal are next in line at 5/1 (6.00) to finally seal his signature this time out.

After already bringing in Luciano Vietto and Jackson Martinez to replace the Juventus-bound Mario Mandzukic, Atletico Madrid hardly seem worth the 6/1 (6.00) odds to shell out big money once again on Higuain.

Instead, Chelsea appear a more tempting option at 12/1 (13.00) as they attempt to replace Didier Drogba and the possibly departing Loic Remy, while Liverpool are on offer at 16/1 (17.00) to make Higuain the fulcrum of a new-look attack next campaign.

Although a move away from Italy might seem the most attractive prospect for a player looking to take the next step in his career, Milan are available at 20/1 (21.00) to tempt him to stay in the country for at least six more months.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray are on offer at 20/1 (21.00) to convince the striker to move abroad, while Paris Saint-Germain 25/1 (26.00) and Tottenham 25/1 (26.00) are outsiders for the superstar’s signature

Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.