Transfer news: Gonzalo Higuain greeted by fans at Napoli airport as Arsenal look set to miss out on Real Madrid striker

The Argentina international is on the verge of a £31.8m move to Italy
  • @simonrice

Arsenal's lingering hopes of signing Gonzalo Higuain appear over after the striker arrived in Napoli to be greeted by dozens of fans at the airport before undergoing a medical.

A picture published on shows Higuain wearing a Napoli scarf while being mobbed at Rome's Fiumicino airport.

The Gunners had been on the verge of signing Higuain last month, but with a £23m transfer appearing a done deal, Real increased their asking price.

Fresh from the sale of Edinson Cavani to PSG, Napoli found themselves in a position to meet the new asking price. They are understood to have agreed a fee of £31.8m which could rise by another two and a half million with add-ons.

The Argentinean is now in Italy to finalise the move. It is understood he is joined by Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina, who is completing his season-long loan switch.

If the deal for the Argentina international goes through, not only will Arsenal have missed out on one target, but it could lead to them missing out on another.

It's thought Real Madrid will use the money from the sale to help secure a deal for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

Real Madrid will be better positioned to offer Liverpool an offer in excess of the £40m bid Arsenal themselves saw rejected for the Uruguay striker.

Madrid is Suarez’s preferred destination and the Spanish club are under pressure to make a big signing.

Should that scenario play out, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could rival Chelsea for the signature of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.