A report in the London 24 evening news claims Arsenal are ready to break the bank for red-hot Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain after Arsene Wenger labelled French striker Olivier Giroud ‘wasteful’.
Giroud, 29, has come in for heavy criticisms this season and has failed to win over the hearts of Arsenal faithfuls after failing to hit the target in the Gunners 0-0 Barclays Premier League draw at Stoke City on Sunday, a game that saw them drop vital two points.
Meanwhile elsewhere in Naples, 28-year-old Argentine striker Higuain has banged in 20 goals in 20 league matches for Napoli, his highest ever mid-season, compared to Giroud’s 12 goals in 22 Barclays Premier League appearances for the Gunners.
Higuain’s scintillating form for Napoli this term has forced club chief Aurelio De Laurentiis to inject a £72million buy-out clause into the former Real Madrid striker’s contract.
“I put the £72m release clause into Higuain’s contract because I know how to evaluate players,” De Laurentiis said.
“Now he has 20 goals in 20 Serie A games.
“We already have a strong squad, so it’s difficult to improve it. I gave my all-clear to buy someone who is truly functional for the project.”
It is understood Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis is a robust fan of Higuain, and with Chilean hitman Alexis Sanchez injured as well as Danny Welbeck, he will do everything to bring the Serie A top scorer to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger’s side want to win the league title for the first time in 12 years and can’t rely on the profligacy of Hollywood star Giroud who isn’t rated as a ‘world class’ striker.
Wenger was close to signing Higuain when he left Madrid but look now to be priced out of a deal but the Gunners now face severe competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United for Higuain’s signature in the summer.