Higuain completes record Juve move
GONZALO Higuain completed a record-breaking move to Juventus after the Italian champions agreed to pay a 90 million euro (US$98.8 million) fee, the third-highest in history, to wrest the Argentine striker from Napoli on July 26.
In what is the biggest-ever transfer fee recorded between two Serie A clubs, Higuain’s move to Turin on a five-year deal was confirmed by Juventus, who negotiated nearly 5 million euros (US$5.49 million) off Napoli’s asking price.
Napoli had slapped a 94.7 million euros (U$104 million) buyout clause on Higuain’s contract after he hit a record 36 goals in the league last season, breaking Gunnar Nordahl’s 66year record of 35 goals for AC Milan (1950).
It is the third-highest transfer fee in history, after Gareth Bale’s move from Tottenham to Real Madrid for 100.8 million euros in 2013 and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2009 move from Manchester United to the Spanish giants for 94 million euros in 2009.
Higuain also becomes the most expensive South American player in history, his transfer pipping the 86.2 million euros Barcelona paid to Santos for Brazilian starlet Neymar in 2013.
He may expect significant abuse from distraught Napoli fans, who likened the Argentinian with the club’s legendary former striker Diego Maradona during this past season’s battle for the Serie A title.
The transfer of Higuain, who cost Napoli 40 million euros when he arrived from Real Madrid in 2013, could spark a succession of high-profile transfers.
Italian media has reported Juventus would sign Higuain if they convinced Manchester United to meet their asking price of 125 million euros for star midfielder Paul Pogba.
Napoli, who finished runners-up to Juventus to secure their place in next season’s Champions League, are now in the hunt for a top striker.
Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi is top of their shopping list, although reports from the Netherlands said Ajax were set to sell Polish international striker Arkadiusz Milik for more than 35 million euros.
Higuain’s arrival in Turin, meanwhile, will add fresh impetus to their ambition of winning the Champions League. Juventus were defeated 3-1 in the 2015 only to in Berlin by Barcelona. –
Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring a penalty shot to put Napoli up 1-0 over US Città di Palermo on March 13.