Rome, July 17 (IANS) Italian football champions Juventus’ general director Giuseppe Marotta will meet Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis on Monday to discuss a potential transfer of Argentine goal-poacher Gonzalo Higuain, media reports said.
Higuain has been on the radar of Juventus for some time now, with the Serie A champions wanting to sign the forward prior to Napoli — during his time at Real Madrid — although no agreement was reached.
The 28-year-old has a reported release clause of 94 million euros (around $103 million) and has denied signing a new contract. He scored 36 times in 35 Serie A matches for Napoli.
Napoli have no intention of negotiating with their Serie A arch-rivals. But the Juventus official will present Napoli with two proposals, one of which will be a straight sum of money, whilst the other will be part-exchange, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport.
Forward Simone Zaza, midfielder Roberto Pereyra and Italy Under-21 midfielder Rolando Mandragora are all players that have been linked with a move to Naples as they look to move ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign the Argentine.
A meeting will take place on Monday, as both Juventus director general Marotta and Napoli President De Laurentiis will be at the Lega Serie A council.
If there is still no opening to negotiations, then Juventus will move on to Plan B: pay the full release clause in cash,
There are conflicting reports on the status of this clause, as some claim, there is no deadline and the payment can be spread out over 12 months.
Others suggest Higuain has to sort the situation out by early August and that Napoli will only accept the full sum in one instalment.
Sky Sport Italia report Juventus have already agreed on personal terms with Higuain, offering him a four-year contract worth 7.5 million ($8.27 million) per season.
Unlike Napoli, Higuain would also be given back ownership of his image rights.
Arsenal remains in the background, as it’s entirely possible Napoli will sell Higuain abroad rather than hand him over to their Serie A rivals, according to football-italia.net.
The proposal from the Gunners is believed to be 50 million euros ($55.18 million) plus French striker Olivier Giroud, but that’s not considered enough.
Should a bid for Higuain fail, Old Lady officials will looks towards Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic or Santos’ Gabriel Barbosa after Spanish forward Alvaro Morata departed the club, returning to Real Madrid.