Chelsea, Arsenal and Napoli all in for Madrid hitman Gonzalo Higuain

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Gonzalo Higuain is the centre of a three-way tug-of-war between Chelsea, Arsenal and Napoli this summer.

While Real Madrid have publicly indicated that the Argentine marksman is not for sale, the player is thought to be keen on a move.

Arsenal were thought to be close to wrapping up a £23million deal with the La Liga giants for Higuain at the beginning of the month, that appears to have fallen through.

The Gunners’ interest in Liverpool’s Luis Suarez put their bid for Higuain on hold, and he has now garnered interest from elsewhere.

Napoli have turned their attentions to the 25-year-old after selling Edinson Cavani to PSG for a hefty £55m.

And Chelsea are also weighing up Higuain as a Plan B in the event that their pursuit of Manchester United’s unsettled star Wayne Rooney fails.

“Mourinho wants me there,” Higuain is quoted to have told sources in the Spanish press.

Just why he would want to follow Mourinho to Stamford Bridge after struggling for game-time under the Portuguese at the Bernabeu is perplexing.

Talk of the Blues’ interest could be a smokescreen to cool their war of words with United over Rooney, but Napoli’s interest in the former River Plate hitman is more genuine.

“It’s true that we’re negotiating for Gonzalo Higuain and Leandro Damiao,” said president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

“The money we got for Cavani added to the £52m we had set aside for the transfer budget means there will be £107.5m to carefully invest on Napoli.”

However, Arsenal are still in the running with reports suggesting that Higuain’s father maintains a preference in his son heading to the Emirates.

Jorge Higuain appeared to let the cat out of the bag last month by revealing Gonzalo was close to becoming a member if Arsene Wenger’s squad.

“We managed to get permission from Real to negotiate face to face with Arsenal,” he said.

“Fortunately, I will soon be able to watch my son play in the Premier League. There isn’t anything signed yet, but negotiations are advanced. We haven’t spoken about the contract yet. Arsenal have made a great offer, in the same way as Juventus.”

Juventus has since pulled out after signing Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, while the saga surrounding Higuain’s future looks likely to rumble on.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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