Higuain was not Napoli’s first choice striker this summer ... Tottenham target was

Leandro Damiao V S Korea

Napoli originally wanted Leandro Damiao to replace Edinson Cavani at the Stadio San Paolo.

The race for Gonzalo Higuain this summer was frenetic, and bordering on absurd with a plethora of clubs keen, not keen and then keen again.

Case in point, Arsenal. They could have signed, sealed and delivered Higuain in a matter of days if they wanted to - but Arsene Wenger got it in his head that Liverpool would allow Luis Suarez to leave for North London. He was wrong.

By the time they realised that it was too late, Higuain had joined Napoli as the replacement for PSG bound Edinson Cavani.

Naples, as I have explained before has now gone Higuain crazy - selling shirts wherever you turn with ‘Higuain, 9’ adorning the reverse. But it could have been oh so different - as Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis revealed yesterday. 

‘’We had originally talked to Damiao, but we could not reach an agreement with his agent. So we decided to contact Real Madrid for Higuain and we immediately found a solution. "

Join the club Napoli. While they, like Tottenham Hotspur are now happy with the other striker they brought in to the club in the event of failure to secure Damiao he is proving to be one of the world’s slipperiest transfer targets.

Failed £34.5m summer Arsenal target even has his shirts sold at over 4,000 feet

Not a transfer window can go by without Damiao, the Brazilian league goal-machine compared to Ronaldo, being linked with a move to Europe.

But the deal never seems to come off. Andre Villas Boas has reportedly wanted him for ages, even trying to sign him when manager at FC Porto - and he has tried whilst at Tottenham, only for seemingly straightforward deals to become messy, complicated and Levy infuriating.

The striker has previously seemed happy to stay at Internacional in his homeland - but many now expect he wants to finally make the continental switch.

But he is running out of buyers. It remains doubtful Tottenham would go back for him after the hassle he has caused previously while Napoli no longer need him.

 

So where does Damiao go? He has clubs fighting for him for the past two seasons but the inability of his club and agent to get a deal done means he may have to start elsewhere in Europe, such as Russia or Ukraine to make his move.

Napoli are fine, they have Higuain; Tottenham are fine, they have Soldado; Damiao? Who knows if anyone in Europe is going to bother negotiating with him now another team has jumped through hoops to no avail.

image: © simonw92

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