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 By Ben Gladwell
Jul 11, 2014

Higuain has €100m release clause

Gonzalo Higuain found his scoring form just in time for Argentina. Ron Vlaar must mark him closely in the semifinal.
Gonzalo Higuain has helped Argentina to the World Cup final.

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain will cost interested clubs 100 million euros this summer, according to club president Aurelio Di Laurentiis.

- LIVE: Transfer Talk

Higuain, 26, who arrived from Real Madrid last year, has been linked with a move back to Spain, with Barcelona reported to have been keen.

The Argentina international said this week that he is happy to stay at Napoli, and Di Laurentiis has now revealed that the player has a substantial release clause in his contract that any side would be forced to pay for his services.

"You didn't know about that, did you?" he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Did you think I would be so stupid as to let him get away? I'd say nobody's going to get Higuain. He's ours and we're going to hold on to him tightly.

"From day one, his contract has had a release clause of 100 million euros. He's our pride and joy. He's in the [World Cup] final and he's going to score against Germany."

Higuain netted 24 times for the Partenopei last season, helping them finish third in Serie A behind Juventus and Roma to qualify for the Champions League playoff at the end of August.

And he should be given further support in the Napoli attack next term with De Laurentiis insisting that his club are looking to buy rather than sell this summer.

"We've already sorted our defence and now we need two more players for the other zones, just as [coach Rafael] Benitez has requested," De Laurentiis said. "The fans can rest assured that we will be competitive. You know that Real Madrid and Barcelona are asking me for [Jose Callejon] every day? Well he's staying put too."

Being able to turn down such approaches is a luxury only Napoli and a handful of other Serie A clubs can afford, with Italian football in an increasingly worrying state financially.

De Laurentiis believes he has the answer, though, listing reforms which need to be carried out to halt the slide of the Italian game.

"Let's start off by reforming the league," he said. "Let's get back to having 16 clubs like in 1986, with just one relegation to be determined by a playoff with a club from Serie B who want to come up.

"Just look at the sides who come up from Serie B now, knowing they're just going to be one or maximum two years in the top flight. What garbage -- it's reducing the quality level of the league and Sky's television audience with uninteresting games.

"If you want to be in Serie A, you've got to fulfil certain criteria. I've had to give [Emanuele] Calaio away to Catania for free, and only if they are promoted and he plays at least 20 times, will they pay me 350,000 euros for him. It's depressing and offensive."

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