Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has confirmed his club is in talks to sign Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain as the Italian side close in on his Real Madrid team-mate Raul Albiol.
Arsenal have been keen to sign Higuain this summer and were thought to be close to a deal, although there are indications that new Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is keen to retain the Argentina international.
However, Napoli have cash to spend following the €64 million sale of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain and have now entered the race for his services.
Asked in a Twitter Q&A whether his club were in negotiations for Higuain and Internacional forward Leandro Damiao, De Laurentiis replied: “It’s true.”
E' vero— AurelioDeLaurentiis (@ADeLaurentiis) July 17, 2013
De Laurentiis has already promised to reinvest the earnings from the Cavani sale, saying he would have made €60 million available to new coach Rafa Benitez this summer regardless.
“With the €64.5 million (from the Cavani sale) and the €60 I had budgeted, that means we have €124.5 to invest in Napoli with diligence and experience,” De Laurentiis tweeted.
De Laurentiis, who interrupted the Q&A session frequently for “important telephone calls” with director of sport Riccardo Bigon, has promised “a big surprise on July 29”.
That is not only the day when the club’s new shirts will be unveiled prior to a friendly with Galatasaray, but it could be the day when the heir to Cavani’s throne is revealed.
“There are plenty of names on the table and we are evaluating all of them,” he tweeted, revealing also that the new club anthem will be unveiled at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol is undergoing a medical with the Serie A side ahead of a €12 million move, De Laurentiis confirmed.
Raul Albiol sta facendo le visite mediche. Speriamo che le passi— AurelioDeLaurentiis (@ADeLaurentiis) July 17, 2013
The defender, who has represented the Spainish national side on 40 occasions, has played a bit-part role at the Santiago Bernabeu in recent seasons.
In the 2009-2010 season, his first year with Los Blancos after signing from Valencia, the centre-back played 33 times in La Liga, but since then he has failed to make more than 20 league appearances in a season.
Napoli, who finished second in Serie A last season, have already signed Jose Callejon from Madrid.