[dropcap]N[/dropcap]apoli striker Gonzalo Higuain has hinted that he may be ready to join Barcelona in the summer. According to several reports, Barcelona have already agreed a contract with Higuain. They are set to hold negotiations with Napoli over the next few weeks. Higuain came to Napoli only last summer from Real Madrid for just over £ 35 million. He has been one of the finest strikers in the Italian Serie A this campaign after banging in more than 20 goals.
However, Napoli’s inability to challenge for top honours last campaign is thought to have put Higuain in doubt about his future at the club. This coupled with the interest from Barcelona seems to have swayed his mind, as the striker said after Argentina’s 2-1 win over Bosnia that he may be ready to join the Spanish outfit in the upcoming transfer window. He said:
“Yes, of course [I would like to play alongside Messi at Barcelona]. Obviously it would be an enormous pleasure. I am pleased by the Barca interest — any player would be.
“But I am focused now on the World Cup. There will be another time to talk about my future. I am here now, focused on this dream, trying for us all to be able to achieve our objectives.”
Higuain was a major reason in Argentina getting the win from their first group match at the World Cup 2014. He provided the assist from Lionel Messi, who is thought to have a major say in the club’s transfer policy with regard to signing strikers. Barcelona were heavily linked with Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, who is a great friend of Messi. After having been rebuffed in their attempts to sign the former Atletico Madrid man, the Catalans appear to have turned their attention towards Higuain.
His Real Madrid connections may not be enough to prevent him from moving to the Camp Nou.
The Champions League is back on tonight and it does not get much bigger than the Arsenal against Napoli match up at the Emirates.
Arsenal are flying high on top of the English Premiership two points clear of join second place Liverpool and Tottenham, while Rafa Benitez’s side are in first place of the Serie A after winning 2-0 away to Genoa thanks to a couple of goals from Macedonian striker Goran Pandev.
The last time the two teams met was during a friendly back in August that saw Arsenal come back from being 2-0 down to draw the match at the Emirates.
The good news for Arsenal is that Midfielder Tomas Rosicky is back in the team after having suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Czech Republic in a match against Italy back on September 10th.
Despite the good news on Rosicky Arsene Wenger’s squad will be without Theo Walcott (stomach), Santi Cazorla (ankle), Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee).
Napoli will be at near full strength with only Right-back Christian Maggio absent for tonight’s encounter.
All eyes will be on former Real Madrid player Gonzalo Higuain who the Gunners failed to sign in the summer balking over Madrid’s asking price that left the door open for Napoli to come in and sign the Argentinian striker.
It is not only Higuain who is the threat as Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol have also been effective in scoring goals in particular Jose Callejon who has linked up with Slovakian international Marek Hamsik to score three goals for I Ciucciarelli so far this season.
Wenger knows the threat of Higuain and the quality of Napoli on the counter attack, and when asked about if he was worried that his missed signing would come back and haunt him said:
“It is not the best moment to talk about transfers he was on the market, as you know, and several clubs were in for him”.
“I do not think it needs to be talked about again.”
He added: “We have to be organised against Napoli because they are very good on the counter-attack.
Napoli will be coming to London looking to go home with at least a share of the points, and if Arsenal think thanks to their recent form that it should be an easy home win the Italians could provide a wakeup call to Arsenal.
This match has big ratings in prediction sites and other sports betting communities. I suggest you visit some and compare sports betting odds. This match has draw written all over it for me so I will predict a 2-2 finish which will suit the Italians just fine.
While the business of appointing a new manager is still an on-going project for Real Madrid with Carlo Ancelotti being the man everyone assumes will take over the spot left vacant by Jose Mourinho as the special one returned to the place where he says he is loved Los Blanco’s are left with plenty of unfinished business.
Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuaín seems to be wanted by quite a few top clubs including Arsenal who are reported to have made an offer of 30€ in one lump sum while the other interested party Italian Serie a side Juventus have offered 8€ million less and want to pay the money to Madrid in instalments.
Madrid know that some other offers could come in for Higuaín who still has three years remaining on his contract, and are unlikely to let him go for less than 40€.
The one question I really want to know the answer of is if Cristiano Ronaldo will sign a new contract or not, and despite club president Florentino Perez saying that Ronaldo will retire at real Madrid, I still see him returning to Manchester United if the club and Nike can come up with the right deal.
We all know the Tottenham’s Gareth Bale is the top priority signing for Real Madrid this summer but the hope of getting him cheaply have all but gone out of the window with Manchester United saying they would like to sign the Welsh wizard, along with Paris Saint-Germain who not only want Bale, but the Tottenham manager Andres Villas-Boas as well.
If you ask the real Madrid fans who they want the club to sign I can tell you that the name is not Cavani, Suarez, or Bale, but Malaga’s wizz-kid Isco with 44% of the votes in a recent poll held by Reals mouthpiece newspaper Marca in second place with 22% of the votes was Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski with the Madrid fans remembering the four-goals he scored to knock them out of the Champions League.
Isco has been a standout for the Spanish team guiding them to the European U-21 final against Italy to be played tomorrow June 18th in Jerusalem, Israel, and asked whether his teammates Nacho and Morata have been telling him that he should sign for Madrid he laughed saying “they keep going on about it”.