Napoli really have been getting right in everyone’s face this summer in the transfer market. Usually a team that plucks talent from other teams in Italy such as in the case of Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Gokhan Inler this summer Rafa Benitez has cast his net far and wide.
And he has also been keeping things close to home with a real Spanish feel to the Partenopei these days.
With Pepe Reina’s loan move from Liverpool imminent; and the club snapping up Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol from Real Madrid it is now being reported another Real Madrid man could be on the brink of a move to the club.
But Arsenal’s interest has dried up and over the weekend it was suggested in Italy that Higuain was now on the verge of a move to Napoli.
However many doubt that the Argentine is as close to a move to Campania as La Corriere dello Sport seem to believe; and suggest that a major target as an alternative to Arsenal’s transfer objective is in fact a player heavily linked with their North London rivals.
Reports in Italy suggest that Rafa Benitez could look to add to his Spanish contingent by bringing in talented Valencia striker Roberto Soldado as a replacement for Edinson Cavani this summer.
The rumours are that personal terms with Higuain are going to be difficult to finalise with the player not sold on playing for Napoli; and that Soldado may prove to be a cheaper and more likely alternative.
The 28-year-old Spanish international has a release clause in the region of €30 million; but with Valencia’s financial problems intensified by their failure to qualify for the Champions League on the final day of the La Liga season they are expected to consider bids considerably below that valuation.
Valencia have now set a deadline of August 3rd for any bids to be submitted for the player and Napoli are widely considered to be one of the teams making an enquiry for the star.
Liverpool have also recently been linked with the coveted front-man; who scored 30 goals in 46 appearances last season. But with a massive transfer kitty behind them Napoli will feel confident of winning the battle for his signature.
Overall the impression is that Napoli have given up on Leandro Damiao, himself a target for Tottenham, and decided instead to make Higuain and Soldado the number one targets for the club this summer.
Meaning one way or another; Napoli are going to leave a North London side disappointed.
image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro