Transfer news

Napoli set to seal Higuain signing

July 24, 2013
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

Napoli are reported to be on the verge of tying up a deal for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Gonzalo Higuain
GettyImagesHiguain said at the end of last season that he intended to leave Madrid.

• Benitez looks to the future

Higuain has not been included in the Madrid squad for Wednesday night’s friendly against Lyon and, according to reports in Italy, he has given Napoli his word that he will move to the Stadio San Paolo, with Arsenal appearing to have switched their attentions to Luis Suarez.

He and Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina were due to undergo medicals on Wednesday afternoon, Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

A deal worth €40 million has already been agreed, which would make him the Partenopei’s record signing and the eighth most expensive signing in Serie A history.

Napoli earned €64.5 million from the sale of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint Germain this summer while club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has promised new coach Rafael Benitez a further €60 million for investment.

Some of those funds have already been spent of bringing former Spain Under-21 forward Jose Callejon and Spain centre-back Raul Albiol from Real Madrid and, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the duo’s arrival has played a key part in convincing Higuain, 25, to make the switch.

It is expected that he will be unveiled at the club’s stadium on Monday night, when Napoli face Galatasaray in a pre-season friendly at the San Paolo. De Laurentiis promised the fans "a big surprise" on that date in a Twitter Q&A last week.

Higuain has scored 121 goals in 264 games for Real Madrid and is the preferred choice of Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella to partner Lionel Messi for the national team, having scored 19 goals in 33 caps.

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