Napoli to bid more than €35m for Arsenal target Higuain

The Serie A club are in pole position to capture the Real Madrid striker and will use the Edinson Cavani funds to make a renewed attempt to sign the Argentine this week

By Wayne Veysey

Napoli will bid more than €35 million for Gonzalo Higuain this week, Goal understands.

The Serie A club are planning to use the proceeds of the €60m Edinson Cavani sale to capture a proven centre-forward in the coming weeks.

Napoli moved for the Real Madrid striker earlier in the window and have turned their attention back to the 25-year-old after failing to prise Leandro Damiao from Internacional.

Higuain came close to joining Arsenal earlier in July, with the Gunners offering €27m to prise him from the Santiago Bernabeu as well as agreeing personal terms with the player.

But Real Madrid held out for a higher price and Arsene Wenger switched his attention to capturing Luis Suarez from Liverpool after learning the Uruguayan was interested in a move to Emirates Stadium.

Napoli are now in pole position to capture Higuain but there are still a number of hurdles to be overcome before a deal is agreed.

Although Madrid have claimed Higuain is not for sale amid reports of a deal having been completed, Goal understands the Spanish club would accept an offer slightly above the €35m mark.

“Higuain to Napoli a done deal? Not true, I don’t have any news about this,” Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after his side’s 6-0 friendly win over Bournemouth on Sunday.

“We still have to speak about Higuain as a Real Madrid player at this point.”

It is believed that Napoli will bid around €37m for the striker and a deal could be agreed quickly if negotiations over the player’s image rights can be settled.

Higuain has two years remaining on a Nike sponsorship deal worth around €1.7m-a-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 €74,000-a-week at Real and Napoli are set to offer him a deal in line with the €116,000-a-week starting salary he had agreed with Arsenal.

Wenger is still monitoring Higuain’s situation but plans to bring him to Emirates Stadium are on the backburner as the Frenchman attempts to land Suarez for €47m in a deal that would smash the club transfer record.

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