Monday 19 March 2018

Arsenal on alert after Napoli confirm they have rejected a €60m bid for Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain looks certain to sign for Juve
Higuain looks certain to sign for Juve

Samuel Stevens

Arsenal are yet to make an offer to sign Gonzalo Higuain, the Napoli striker, and Atletico Madrid are the only club to have done so, the Italian outfit’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis has claimed.

The 28-year-old is a long-term target for manager Arsene Wenger but the Frenchman has been frustrated by circumstance, inflated transfer fees and repeated leaks to the media.

Higuain scored 36 goals for Napoli last season as he cemented his place among the world’s best strikers and has since attracted interest from Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Speaking at the Naples club’s pre-season training headquarters in Dimaro, De Laurentiis said: “The only offer I've had was from the Atletico [Madrid] President [Enrique Cerezo] a month ago and I told him we couldn't do it.

“He offered me €60m (£50.1m) plus two or three players, and I said no.”

On Monday it was reported in the national press that Arsenal have been quoted a figure closer to £80m and Wenger is unprepared to do business unless a considerable slice is removed from his valuation.

Arsenal have already failed with an attempt to sign Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy after meeting the £20m release clause in his contract. Vardy has since agreed fresh terms on a four-year deal with the Premier League champions.

Wenger is facing a selection headache ahead of the new campaign with Chuba Akpom representing the only striker in his squad fit enough to play their opener against Liverpool on 14 August.

Olivier Giroud has been handed an extended rest after his efforts for France at the European Championship.

Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck are yet to recover from long standing injury problems.

Independent News Service

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport