Arsenal prepare Giroud + £45m, Gonzalo Higuain exchange


If Arsenal want to part-exchange Olivier Giroud, 29, for Gonzalo Higuain, 28, Napoli would be a good club for the French international to join.

That’s according to his agent, Mickael Manuello, who told Radio Crc: “There would be no fear for Olivier to go to Napoli, as we’re talking about a magnificent place.

“In Naples, my client could have a wonderful lifestyle, not to mention that Maurizio Sarri’s style of football would get the best out of a striker like him.”

The French international suffered intense criticism from Arsenal supporters last season when he went four months without a goal as the club’s title challenge once again faded before spring arrived. He regained his goalscoring touch just as Euro 2016 arrived and was a revelation as France reached the final.

Higuain meanwhile has hit a stumbling block with Napoli in contract negotiations. The latest offer from the Serie A club was rejected with a proposed release clause deemed too high by the player and his agents – his brother and his father.

With Arsenal stumbling in their attempts to sign another striker, Higuain has emerged as a genuine target. According to Italian journalist Ciro Venerato, the Gunners will offer €50m plus Giroud, making a deal worth €110m, taking the sum close to the £100m that Manchester United are expected to have to pay for Juventus star, Paul Pogba, 23.

A move to north London seemed likely in 2013 when Arsenal were on the verge of signing Higuain as he left Real Madrid. A fee was agreed with the Spanish club but the Gunners were seduced by the prospect of signing Luis Suarez, 29, a move which descended into farce with Liverpool refusing to sell despite the Uruguayan’s release clause of £40m being triggered.

As that played out on the back pages, Napoli stole in and landed the striker for €40m. With 91 goals in 146 appearances since, the Argentine international has proven to be superb value for money.


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