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Napoli to bid more than £30m for Arsenal target Higuain

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Napoli will bid more than £30 million for Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain this week, Goal understands.

The Serie A club are planning to use the proceeds of the £55m Edinson Cavani sale to capture a proven centre-forward in the coming weeks.

8/1 Arsenal are 8/1 with BetVictor to sign Higuain this summer

Napoli moved for Higuain earlier in the window and have turned their attention back to the 25-year-old after failing to prise Leandro Damiao from Internacional.

The Argentine came close to joining Arsenal earlier in July, with the Gunners offering £23.1m to prise him from the Santiago Bernabeu as well as agreeing personal terms with the player.

But Real Madrid held out for a higher price and Arsene Wenger switched his attention to capturing Luis Suarez from Liverpool after learning the Uruguayan was interested in a move to Emirates Stadium.

Napoli are now in pole position to capture Higuain but there are still a number of hurdles to be overcome before a deal is agreed.

Although Madrid have claimed Higuain is not for sale amid reports of a deal having been completed, Goal understands the Spanish club would accept an offer slightly above the £30m mark.

"Higuain to Napoli a done deal? Not true, I don't have any news about this," Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after his side's 6-0 friendly win over Bournemouth on Sunday.

"We still have to speak about Higuain as a Real Madrid player at this point."

It is believed that Napoli will bid around £31.8m (€37m) for the striker and a deal could be agreed quickly if negotiations over the player's image rights can be settled.

Higuain has two years remaining on a Nike sponsorship deal worth around £1.5m-a-year but Napoli would prefer to take control of his image rights and pay him a more lucrative salary.

The forward earns a relatively modest £64,000-a-week at Real and Napoli are set to offer him a deal in line with the £100,000-a-week starting salary he had agreed with Arsenal.

Wenger is still monitoring Higuain's situation but plans to bring him to Emirates Stadium are on the backburner as the Frenchman attempts to land Suarez for £40m in a deal that would smash the club transfer record.