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Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain turns down new Napoli contract

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Higuain rejects contract extension
Higuain rejects contract extension

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain has turned down the offer of a bumper new contract, sparking fresh speculation that he could be a target for Premier League clubs this summer.

Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with a move for Higuain in the past, with the 27-year-old coming close to signing for the Gunners a couple of years ago.

Now Higuain's bother Nicolas - who is also his agent - has confirmed that the offer of a contract extension has been declined, even though he claims a move this summer is not now inevitable.

"We had a meeting with the president [Aurelio De Laurentiis] in Venice 10 days ago,” stated Nicolas Higuain. 

“We talked about everything. He offered a one-year contract extension, but in my opinion – and ours – we will continue with the original contract, expiring in 2018.

“The contract isn’t that different to the one we signed before, so for us it’s not a real offer. We are calm and happy to continue with the current conditions."

When quizzed on whether the decision to turn down a new deal meant his brother may look for a move this summer, the agent said he would stay in Naples, before seemingly opening the door for 'big clubs' to contact him.

"At the moment, we have faith that Gonzalo will stay at Napoli, with a team which is 100 per cent focused and can win something," he added. 

"It may seem strange, but the big clubs have not contacted me, nor have I spoken with anyone.”