Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed why Arsenal failed to sign Gonzalo Higuain last summer, claiming the Gunners did not offer enough money.
Arsene Wenger’s side were heavily linked with a move for the Argentina international last summer and De Laurentiis admits they did attempt to sign the striker.
The chairman also claims Atletico Madrid were also keen on Higuain who ultimately left Napoli for Juventus after the Italian champions activated his release clause
“We received a request from Arsenal,” he told the Evening Standard. “Personally I also received a request from Atletico Madrid but they didn’t put enough money on the table.
“We were not ready to sell him – for me Higuain was not for sale.”
De Laurentiis also claims that he offered Higuain a better contract than he is on now, a year before he opted to leave the Serie A side.
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“One year earlier I offered another five year contract to Higuain and his brother,” he added “‘I will offer to you x’. It was more money than what he is getting right now from Juventus.”
While De Laurentiis’ comments do not reveal exactly how far Arsenal went in their efforts to sign Higuain, the fact they baulked at paying his huge release clause will come as little surprise to supporters.
The Gunners ultimately ended up signing Lucas Perez in the summer although Alexis Sanchez has ended up playing up front. The Chilean has starred in the role, scoring five times, with Arsenal on a fine run that has taken them up to third place – just two points off the top.