Incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is all set to make Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain his first summer signing, for a mammoth £80million; reports Daily Star.
The 46-year-old former Juventus boss will begin his three-year contract at Stamford Bridge after he concludes his involvement with Italy’s Euro 2016 campaign this summer.
And the Italian is keen to land former Real Madrid and current Napoli attacker Higuain to strengthen his striking options despite strong interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.
Rumours related to Higuain actually does make some sense for Chelsea. With Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao both most likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of this season, they need a new man to lead the front-line.
Higuain would be an excellent option for the Blues. His playing style matches well with both Conte’s tactics and Chelsea’s current team, and even his recently-flared temper is only a mild hindrance compared to Diego Costa’s antics.
28-year-old Higuain joined Napoli back in 2013 and has been prolific for the Seria A outfit this season, scoring 32 times across all competitions.
He is also at the moment Serie A’s leading scorer as Napoli sit second in the table.
And now Reports from Italy claim Chelsea have already tabled an initial offer of £48.5m for the player but Napoli not yet ready to sell him for any less than his release clause.
The release clause is a sensational €94m, which is in turn £80m.
A deal at that figure would place the transfer joint-second on the all-time list of most expensive transfers, only behind Gareth Bale’s switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid for £85.3m in 2013.
There are still a lot of things which would have to fall into place ahead of the transfer market for such a deal to happen, but this is obviously a situation that needs close monitoring.
Whether or not Napoli retain Gonzalo Higuain this summer will have a major impact on the team and on their transfer activity, not least due to the huge payday they would receive in both transfer fee and wages freed up.
It could trigger a dramatic shakeup of the team on a scale that we have not seen in Naples in a long time, so keep a very close eye on this situation as it develops.
However, rumours of Gonzalo Higuain securing a deal with Manchester United this summer still refuse to die down, as some reports early on claimed that the Red Devils are ready to pay £85 million – breaking their club transfer record – to sign the Argentine forward.
Arsene Wenger also has been a long-term admirer of the Argentine hit-man and has tried to bring him to the Emirates in the last two transfer windows. But negotiations with the Italian club failed in all the past windows who have kept him at the club.
Higuain is undoubtedly one of the most prolific goal scorers in Europe but having no experience in England may be a setback. However, Arsenal are understood to be ready to splash the cash and bring him in alongside Giroud and Welbeck as the striking options.