Juventus have confirmed that they have ceased negotiations with Napoli over the signing of striker Gonzalo Higuain, after their domestic rivals refused to budge on their monumental asking price for the 28-year-old.
Higuain’s release clause stands at €94.5m, and last season’s Serie A runners-up have refused to budge an inch in their valuation – insisting that any interested parties must cough up the full sum if they’re to steal away the forward, whose 36 league goals last season put him 17 strikes clear of the next highest scorer.
Quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus director Beppe Marotta said: “We won’t pay the clause, it is absolutely true. There are no negotiations for Higuain, Napoli won’t negotiate and the matter is closed, for the time being at least.”
His declaration came after representatives from both sides met on Monday, with Marotta attempting to convince Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis to allow the Argentine to leave for a smaller figure than his gargantuan release clause.
With Marotta failing to secure a cut-price deal for the prolific scorer, the Italian champions will look elsewhere for attacking reinforcements after the forced sale of Alvaro Morata back to Real Madrid this summer – with Marotta confirming: “We will continue to look to replace Morata. I won’t add anything else.”
Gonzalo Higuain: Since signing for Napoli in 2013/14 Higuain has scored at least 23 more goals in Serie A than any other player (71)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 18, 2016
Higuain’s Napoli teammate Jose Callejon recently urged his forward partner to stay put this summer, saying: “I want him to stay here at Napoli. I have played with him for the last three seasons, two at Napoli and one at Real Madrid, and I now have a strong relationship with him.
“I have not heard anything from Higuain that he wants to leave. A lot of the news at this time of year is just mere speculation. It would be a shame if he is not with us next season.”
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