Liverpool’s obsession with signing a goalscoring striker this summer received another boost yesterday when Gonzalo Higuain, 28, rejected a new deal from Napoli.
The prolific Argentine striker who scored four goals in his country’s ill-fated Copa America Centenario campaign, had been expected to agree terms of a new deal but has instead signalled his desire to move on from last season’s Serie A runners-up.
Since leaving Real Madrid in 2013, he has scored 91 goals in 146 appearances, maintaining his outstanding strike rate from his time in the Spanish capital.
One of Europe’s most sought after forwards, he has two years left on his current contract which includes a £78m release clause. That has caused the breakdown of the talks on a new deal.
Higuain’s agent, his brother Nicolas, has told Argentinian media outlet, Closs Continental, that Napoli must at the very least reduce their valuation: “Aurelio De Laurentiis has every right to demand the clause in his contract be paid, but my brother and I have decided not to accept a renewal.
“We have a contract with Napoli and, as a great professional, Gonzalo will continue to respect it. He’ll train correctly and give his all.
“But it absolutely won’t be renewed if things stay this way”
Liverpool aren’t the only Premier League club interested in Higuain. Arsenal came close to signing the striker in 2013, only dropping the deal when they mistakenly believed Luis Suarez was leaving Anfield. The Gunners are desperate for a new striker and Higuain would solve their problems.
With the new Premier League broadcasting moneys, the already cash-rich north London club pose a serious threat to Klopp’s ambitions. Liverpool are without European football next season whilst Arsenal are perennial qualifiers for the Champions League.
The elite players, already wealthy, see that as a key factor in deciding which club to sign for and Higuain is no different.
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