Gonzalo Higuain completes move from Real Madrid to Napoli
Arsenal had been hopeful of signing the striker
Saturday 27 July 2013
Napoli have completed the signing of Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old, who passed a medical with the ambitious Serie A club last week, has signed a reported five-year contract at the Stadio San Paolo with reports in Italy suggesting Real have received 40million euros (£34.5million) for the prolific frontman.
A statement published on Napoli's official website read: "Napoli have made the signing of Gonzalo Higuain official. The Argentinian striker arrives from Real Madrid."
Higuain, who scored 107 league goals in six seasons with Real Madrid, becomes the latest addition to Rafael Benitez's Napoli squad, with the former Liverpool boss now focusing on ratifying a season-long loan deal for Reds goalkeeper Jose Reina.
Reina passed a medical at Rome's Villa Stuart sport clinic in the hours that followed Higuain's arrival to a rapturous reception at Fiumicino airport on Wednesday.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has promised "a big party" to present the Argentinian ahead of a friendly match against Galatasaray on Monday night.
Benitez knows Reina well, having brought the Spain international to Anfield from Villarreal in 2005, but he is particularly excited to work with Higuain.
Benitez told the Corriere dello Sport last week: "We were looking for a quality player. We were looking for someone playing at the highest level.
"We have signed a player who comes from Real Madrid and we have signed a striker who has scored a hatful of goals and who will adapt very well to our system - an attacking system. We needed a player like this.
"We are all working together to ensure the players we want arrive. We have to sign players who will do well for Napoli for the next three or four years."
Benitez, who succeeded Walter Mazzarri at the San Paolo in June, has already signed winger Dries Mertens from PSV Eindhoven and both forward Jose Callejon and defender Raul Albiol from Real Madrid.
Last year's Serie A runners-up are rebuilding for both a title challenge and a Champions League campaign, and the recent flurry of transfer activity has been sparked by the arrival of the 64million euros (£55million) earned from striker Edinson Cavani's transfer to Paris St Germain.
Until signing off on a move to Naples, Higuain had been a reported target for Premier League side Arsenal and he is now likely to face the Gunners in a Napoli shirt at the Emirates Cup.
The pre-season event, which also involves Porto and Galatasaray, is being hosted Arsenal on the weekend of August 3-4.
Latest in Sport
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds