Napoli issue Gonzalo Higuain warning after Manchester United press links

Gonzalo Higuain has been among an array of strikers linked with a Manchester United move this summer.

Last season was not one to fondly remember for strikers at Manchester United. Unlike the season before they almost felt dependant on goals from midfield but next season Louis van Gaal's men need to be firing on all cylinders.

The arrival of Radamel Falcao on loan from AS Monaco was an underwhelming one. Everyone expected goals galore from the Colombian but he only came up with four in total from the season; the worst spell of his footballing career.

Robin van Persie, who has failed to perform consistently since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, was out of sorts again despite playing under his preferred national team manager van Gaal.

From the beginning those two received the benefit of the doubt from van Gaal, and Wayne Rooney was subjected to a new midfield role. It gradually became clear that the England captain was better suited to a front role which surprisingly has not quietened some of the speculation about United needing a new world class striker.

However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has ruled out a move for striker Gonzalo Higuain unless a club is willing to pay his £71 million release clause, in quotes published by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 27-year-old scored 31 goals in 37 Serie A appearances last season as Napoli finished fifth, losing out on a Champions League on the final day of the season with a defeat to Lazio.

De Laurentiis probably understands that the release clause is prohibitive for potential suitors. Napoli paid nowhere near that amount (they paid around £29 million) and Higuain has not improved to the level that he is worth so much more two years down the line.

“Higuain’s future? If a player has a contract this contract has to be respected," De Laurentiis told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"If a madman arrives and offers to pay his buy-out clause then one must consider it.

“Otherwise Pipita (Higuain) will remain here.”

Do Manchester United really need a striker like Higuain?

Judging on the system Louis van Gaal set out with at Manchester United last season, only one key striker is necessary and with Rooney already on the club's books, Higuain could be a needless signing.

Obviously, back-up will be required and United already have James Wilson after coming through the ranks. The future of Javier Hernandez remains uncertain but he would be an asset to have available if his form of old resurfaced.

It was once thought that you needed four strikers in your squad but with the way van Gaal has United playing three would be enough. Rooney needs to be playing up front so a big name like Higuain arriving could cause problems.

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