Arsenal and Liverpool target Gonzalo Higuaín to remain at Napoli
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higaín will not be allowed to leave the club this summer, according to president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
Higuaín, currently on international duty with Argentina at the Copa America, had the most productive season of his career in the 2015-16 campaign.
The former Real Madrid striker broke the long-standing record for goals scored in a single Serie A season, taking his tally to 36 thanks to a spectacular hat-trick against Frosinone on the final match day.
Such goal-scoring exploits inevitably caught the attention of many of the continent's biggest clubs; Arsenal are believed to hold a long-standing interest in Higuaín, while Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp sparked rumours of a move for the striker by attending one of Argentina's Copa America fixtures sat next to the player's brother.
But De Laurentiis has moved to pour cold water on any such rumour by insisting that he has no intention of cashing in on his star man: "If his words are sincere, he’ll play for Napoli for at least the next five years, " Napoli's head honcho told Radio Kiss Kiss.
“I’m ready to extend his contract, I’m so fond of him as a man and as a player. I want Pipita [Higaín's nick-name] to stay at Napoli forever."
Although, the matter could be taken out of De Laurentiis' hands should any club decide to stump up the £72 million figure stipulated as a buyout fee in Higuaín's contract.
But for a player who turns 29 next season, and would therefor have little resale value, that figure will likely prove prohibitive.