Gonzalo Higuain has become the third-most expensive signing in football history after completing his move to Juventus from Serie A rivals Napoli.
Juve have triggered the 28-year-old Argentina striker’s release clause of €90 million, placing him behind only Real Madrid pair Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo on the all-time record list.
A statement on juventus.com read: “Juventus Football Club can today confirm that it has purchased the registration rights of Gonzalo Higuain for €90m, payable in two financial years.
“The player has agreed a five-year contract with the club.”
Higuain scored a remarkable 36 goals in 35 Serie A games last season as Napoli finished second in Serie A nine points behind Juve.
Having initially moved to Europe with Real Madrid, joining from River Plate in his homeland, Higuain scored 107 goals in six-and-a-half seasons and helped the club win three league titles and the 2011 Copa del Rey.
He moved on to Napoli in 2013 and added the 2014 Coppa Italia to his list of honours.
Higuain has won 63 caps for his country since his debut in 2009, scoring 32 goals and helping the Albiceleste reach the final at the 2014 World Cup and in the Copa America this year and last — they were beaten on all three occasions.
The transfer was originally confirmed when Higuain’s name appeared on a list of completed deals on the official website of the Lega Serie A. Napoli then announced on Twitter that Juve had met the player’s release clause.
While Higuain arrives in Turin, the future of Paul Pogba at the Italian champions remains unclear. He was said to be close to completing a £100m (€110m) move to Manchester United, and Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta was in talks yesterday with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola.
However both United and Juve are desperate to avoid paying Raiola’s €20m agent fees, with the Italians adamant United must pay.
Elsewhere Arsenal have had an offer of €35m for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette rejected by the French club.
Lyon also deny that the Gunners have tabled a new bid of €48m for the 25-year-old French international, who they insist is not for sale.
“Arsenal made an offer of €35m which Lyon didn’t accept for one reason alone — we will keep Alexandre Lacazette,” read a statement released by the club.
Arsenal are reportedly ready to spend up to £75m (€89m) in a double swoop for Lacazette and Leicester playmaker Riyad Mahrez, but Lyon are determined to keep the jewel in their crown.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic alone has struck more goals in Ligue 1 over the past three seasons.
“Lacazette is one of the main leaders of Bruno Genesio’s squad,” Lyon’s statement continued. “We categorically deny having received an offer of €48m from Arsenal for him, as has been reported.”
Lacazette has been linked with a number of big clubs since plundering 27 league goals in the 2014-15 season.
The Lyon-born forward is thought to be keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium, but Lyon’s financial difficulties are behind them and they are not compelled to sell. Arsenal are looking to sign a striker this summer after missing out on Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, while they were also previously interested in Higuain.
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