But he was made available by Madrid in 2013 despite scoring 107 times in 190 league appearances, joining Napoli where he continued to thrive.
His final season in Naples saw him score 36 times in 35 Serie A matches, convincing Juve to part with a €90 million fee and he remains lethal in front of goal.
The 30-year-old will now have designs on revenge as he prepares to face Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, with his father suggesting Perez was the primary reason for Higuain departing the Santiago Bernabeu in the first place.
"It hurt me the way he left Madrid," Jorge Higuain told Cadena SER's El Larguero show.
"It's something that the president did. [Perez] probably didn't like him.
"I think they could have done a lot more things with [Karim] Benzema, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Gonzalo together.
"When they formed that trio in Madrid, they were some of the best goal-scorers. Gonzalo could have stayed longer at Real Madrid."
Higuain is a regular target for criticism with respect to his performances in big games for club and country, but his father – who played for both Boca Juniors and River Plate – thinks it comes down to jealousy from bitter journalists.
"When criticism is constructive you can get positive things," he said. "The player knows that he played badly, you do not need to be told, but when he hears criticism he can improve.
"Journalism sometimes has the authority to hire and fire players or coaches, and they have not touched a ball in their lives, that's what bothers them [the journalists].
"Messi has also been criticised a lot. Argentina is a very nice country, but with the government and hospitals, there are injustices of all kinds – nothing happens. A player fails and the world seems to end."