Post subject: Juventus to break bank for Higuain
18. Jul 2016, 21:57
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|Juventus are set to pay a hefty 94.7 million euros ($105m) release clause in Gonzalo Higuain’s contract with Napoli to lure the Argentina star to Turin, reports claimed on Monday.
Higuain joined Napoli for 40 million euros from Real Madrid in 2013 and has since gone on to become one of the most exciting and bankable stars in Italy’s top flight.
The 28-year-old centre-forward hit a stunning 36 goals last season to break Gunnar Nordahl’s 66-year-old record of 35 goals for AC Milan in a 20-team season, which he achieved in 1950.
Now the Argentina star is set to break Napoli hearts by joining their bitter, northern rivals in a deal that could see Juventus offer several players and pay the massive release clause to Napoli to secure Higuain’s services.
According to widespread reports in the Italian media, Higuain has personally agreed to the move.
Talks between both clubs were expected to begin on Monday and although they may continue for some time, Juventus are set to pull out all the stops in a bid to secure Higuain.
La Gazzetta dello Sport said Juventus are willing to offer striker Simone Zaza and defender Daniele Rugani as part of the deal.
If Higuain were to join Juventus, Napoli would then focus on replacing him with either Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) or Nikola Kalinic (Fiorentina), said the report.
Napoli have maintained in recent weeks that Higuain is not for sale, the club’s vice-president Edoardo De Laurentiis -- the son of club owner Aurelio -- even telling worried fans on Sunday to “sleep tight” when asked about Higuain’s possible departure.
But a front page headline in Gazzetta dello Sport warned Napoli fans it was “Higuain Day” and that Juventus would be “launching an assault” in a bid to close the deal.
‘Pogba will stay’
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri is confident Paul Pogba will stay put at the club despite talks about the French midfielder leaving for England or Spain.
Pogba, who’s contract at Juventus runs until 2019, has been linked with a return to English Premier League club Manchester United and Champions League winners Real Madrid.
“I am calm about the English rumours,” Allegri told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Anyone who has the opportunity to leave Juventus has to consider things very carefully, because right now Juve are among the top four European clubs.”
Pogba, who was instrumental in France’s run to the Euro 2016 final, played 48 times in all competitions last season to guide Juve to a Serie A and Coppa Italia double. The Italian champions have also boosted the squad by acquiring midfielder Miralem Pjanic, right back Dani Alves and Morocco defender Medhi Benatia during the close season.
“This is not a selling club that just lets its players go. Pogba belongs to Juve and at the end of the day he too will want to win another Scudetto and hopefully the Champions League,” the 48-year-old added.