Deal that paves the way for Pogba move close to being completed
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain is on the brink of signing for Juventus in a remarkable €94m deal that looks certain to pave the way for Paul Pogba’s world record breaking move in the coming days.
After weeks of speculation, reports in Italy claim Argentine forward Higuain has already undergone his medical ahead of his move to Juventus, with half of the lavishly expensive release clause in his Napoli contract to be paid up front by the Italian champions.
Higuain’s impressive haul of 36 goals in Serie A last season ensured that he would be one of the most sought after strikers in European football this summer, with Arsenal heavily linked with a move for the prolific marksman.
Yet the Gunners were never likely to get involved in a bidding war with Juventus, who are keen to make a statement signing as they prepare to sanction the unpopular sale of Pogba to either Manchester United or Real Madrid.
Napoli have stated time and again over the last few months that they would not sanction a deal for Higuain unless his release clause was paid in full and with a potential €120m windfall coming in from the sale of Pogna, Juve have decided to pay the asking price for a player they believe can take them to the next level in the Champions League.
It is a deal that has echoes of Liverpool’s decision to pay £35m for striker Andy Carroll after they sold Fernando Torres for Chelsea in a £50m deal back in January 2011, with neither of those transfers proving to be successful investments.
It remains to be seen whether Higuain will turn out to be value for money as he approaches the back end of his career, but the imminent confirmation of this deal would suggest the Pogba transfer will be confirmed in the coming days.
The imminent move has infuriated Argentina and Napoli legend Diego Maradona, who has expressed his sympathy for fans of his former club.
“This Higuain affair is hurting me because he is going to a direct rival like Juventus, but we cannot blame the player," Maradona wrote on his official Facebook page.
“A player has a responsibility to himself and it is those fat cats of business that are grinning the most in this case. Nobody thinks of the fan."
Now Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has reportedly flown to America to meet his client to iron out the final details of his move, with Real Madrid reported to have made a late bid to scupper Man Utd's efforts to sign the French midfielder.