Napoli agree €37m fee with Real Madrid for Higuain

The Serie A club are negotiating personal terms with the Argentine’s camp after settling a price with the Spanish giants, who had priced Arsenal out of a move

By Wayne Veysey | UK correspondent

Napoli have agreed a €37 million fee with Real Madrid for Gonzalo Higuain.

The Serie A club have had a fresh bid for the Argentine accepted by the Spanish club and Napoli are now trying to convince the player to move to the San Paolo.

Personal terms are yet to be agreed, with Higuain’s insistence on retaining his image rights providing a something of a stumbling block.

Higuain has two years remaining on a Nike deal worth around €1.8m per year but Napoli would prefer to take control of his image rights and pay him a more lucrative salary.

The forward earns a relatively modest €75,000-a-week at Madrid and Napoli are believed to have offered him a deal in line with the €116,000-a-week starting salary he had agreed with Arsenal.

The Gunners had agreed personal terms with Higuain but a transfer to the Emirates Stadium stalled because Madrid were holding out for a bigger offer than the €27m submitted by the Londoners.

Arsene Wenger subsequently switched his attention to capturing Luis Suarez from Liverpool after learning the Uruguayan was interested in a move to the Emirates.

Wenger is still believed to be monitoring Higuain’s situation but plans to bring him to Arsenal are on the backburner as the Frenchman attempts to land Suarez for £40m-plus in a deal that would smash the club transfer record.

Arsenal will not attempt to match Napoli’s bid but could come back into the running for Higuain’s signature if he rejects a move to the Serie A club.

New manager Rafael Benitez targeted Higuain for the vacant senior centre-forward role in the team after selling Edinson Cavani for €63m to Paris Saint-Germain last week.

Although Madrid have claimed Higuain is not for sale, it is understood the Spanish club are now ready to offload the forward, who has spent six years at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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